Potassium sparing diuretics

00:00 / 00:00


Potassium sparing diuretics


0 / 13 complete


Potassium sparing diuretics

of complete

External References

First Aid








Adverse effects/events

spironolactone endocrine effects p. 633

Gynecomastia p. 673

spironolactone p. 682

Spironolactone p. 633, 669, 679, 682

for heart failure p. 318

metabolic acidosis p. 616


Diuretics are medications that act on the kidneys to increase production of urine, and to eliminate water, certain metabolic wastes, and electrolytes from the body.

There are 5 main types of diuretics; carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, osmotic diuretics, thiazide and thiazide-like diuretics, loop diuretics,, and last but not least, potassium sparing diuretics - which is the only class of diuretic that retains potassium, rather than wasting it.

Now, the basic unit of the kidney is called a nephron, and each nephron is made up of a glomerulus, which filters the blood. T.

The filtered content then goes through the renal tubule, where excess waste, and molecules, such as ions and water, are removed or filtered through an exchange between the tubule and the peritubular capillaries.

So the renal tubule plays a huge role in secretion and reabsorption of fluid and ions - such as sodium, potassium, chloride, and magnesium - in order to maintain homeostasis - or the balance of fluid and ions in our body.

The renal tubule has a few segments of its own: the proximal convoluted tubule, the U-shaped loop of Henle, with a thin descending, a thin ascending limb, and a thick ascending limb, and finally, the distal convoluted tubule, which empties into the collecting duct, which collects the urine.

Different kinds of diuretics act on different segments of the renal tubule. Now, potassium sparing diuretics act on the cortical collecting tubules. Here, there are principal cells and α-intercalated cells dispersed amongst the tubule cells.

The principal cell has two pumps on the apical surface, an ATP-dependent potassium pump that pushes potassium into the tubule, and an epithelial sodium channel pump, called ENaC for short, that pulls sodium into the cell.


Potassium-sparing diuretics are a type of diuretic that helps eliminate excess sodium and water from the body while retaining potassium at the same time. Examples of potassium-sparing diuretics include spironolactone, amiloride, and triamterene. In combination with other diuretics, potassium-sparing diuretics can be used in the management of hypertension, while preventing hypokalemia. Common side effects of potassium-sparing diuretics include hyperkalemia and metabolic acidosis.


  1. "Katzung & Trevor's Pharmacology Examination and Board Review,12th Edition" McGraw-Hill Education / Medical (2018)
  2. "Rang and Dale's Pharmacology" Elsevier (2019)
  3. "Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 13th Edition" McGraw-Hill Education / Medical (2017)
  4. "Diuretic Therapy in Heart Failure – Current Approaches" European Cardiology Review (2015)
  5. "Managing resistant hypertension: focus on mineralocorticoid-receptor antagonists" Vascular Health and Risk Management (2017)

Copyright © 2023 Elsevier, its licensors, and contributors. All rights are reserved, including those for text and data mining, AI training, and similar technologies.

Cookies are used by this site.

USMLE® is a joint program of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). COMLEX-USA® is a registered trademark of The National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners, Inc. NCLEX-RN® is a registered trademark of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc. Test names and other trademarks are the property of the respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are endorsed by nor affiliated with Osmosis or this website.