Loop Diuretics

Potassium - Probable Need for Supplementation Magnesium - Probable Need for Supplementation Vitamin B1 - Probable Need for Supplementation Licorice - Possible Dangerous Interaction St. John's Wort, Dong Quai - Possible Harmful Interaction

These powerful diuretics are used to reduce fluid accumulation in the body.Drugs in this family include bumetanide (Bumex), ethacrynic acid (Edecrin), furosemide (Lasix), and torsemide (Demadex) among others. 

PotassiumLoop diuretics cause a constant and significant loss of potassium. The classic treatment for this is to eat bananas and drink orange juice. Potassium supplements are also frequently prescribed.

Magnesium Long-term use (more than 6 months) of loop diuretics might lead to magnesium deficiency. 1,2,3 In turn, magnesium depletion can increase loss of potassium. 4Since magnesium deficiency is common anyway, taking a magnesium supplement at standard U.S. Dietary Reference Intake (formerly known as the Recommended Dietary Allowance) levels might make sense.

Vitamin B1 Evidence suggests that loop diuretics interfere with the body’s metabolism of vitamin B 1 (thiamin). 5,9,10 This effect may cause adverse consequences in one group of individuals who commonly take loop diuretics: people with heart failure. The heart depends on B 1 for proper function; therefore, this finding suggests that taking a B 1 supplement may be advisable. In fact, preliminary evidence suggests that thiamin supplementation does indeed improve heart function in individuals with congestive heart failure (CHF). 6,7,11

Licorice Licorice, too, affects potassium, and the combination of licorice and loop diuretics might cause unexpectedly rapid potassium loss. 8 However, the special form of licorice known as DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice) should not affect potassium levels.

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