Quality CareFind out why Mayo Clinic is the right place for your health care. Make an appointment.
Meet the StaffFind a directory of doctors and departments at all Mayo Clinic campuses. Visit now.
Research and Clinical TrialsSee how Mayo Clinic research and clinical trials advance the science of medicine and improve patient care. Explore now.
Visit Our SchoolsEducators at Mayo Clinic train tomorrow’s leaders to deliver compassionate, high-value, safe patient care. Choose a degree.
Professional ServicesExplore Mayo Clinic’s many resources and see jobs available for medical professionals. Get updates.
Give to Mayo ClinicHelp set a new world standard in care for people everywhere. Give now.
Mayo Clinic offers appointments in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota and at Mayo Clinic Health System locations.
Subscribe to Housecall
Our general interest e-newsletter keeps you up to date on a wide variety of health topics.
Yes, some diuretics — also called water pills — decrease potassium in the blood. Diuretics are commonly used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) because they lower blood pressure by helping your body eliminate sodium and water through your urine. However, some diuretics can also cause you to eliminate more potassium in your urine. This can lead to low potassium levels in your blood (hypokalemia).
Signs and symptoms of hypokalemia include:
Not all diuretics cause this problem. The potassium-sparing diuretics don't lower potassium levels. These include spironolactone (Aldactone), eplerenone (Inspra) and triamterene (Dyrenium).
In addition, some medications to treat high blood pressure may actually increase potassium levels in your blood. Among these are angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) and renin inhibitors.
Treatment of low potassium may include:
If you're taking an ACE inhibitor with a diuretic and getting enough potassium in your diet but your potassium level is still low, your doctor may recommend further testing to help identify the underlying cause.
Sheldon G. Sheps, M.D.
Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission.
Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic.
A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.org," "Mayo Clinic Healthy Living," and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.