We are open for safe in-person care.
Brain tumor, breast cancer, colon cancer, congenital heart disease, heart arrhythmia. See more conditions.
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). 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. Medications called potassium-sparing diuretics don't lower potassium levels. Examples include spironolactone (Aldactone), eplerenone (Inspra) and triamterene (Dyrenium).
Treatment of low potassium may include:
Some medications used to treat high blood pressure may also increase your potassium level. They include angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) and renin inhibitors.
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.
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization and proceeds from Web advertising help support our mission. Mayo Clinic does not endorse any of the third party products and services advertised.
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.