Discussions that mention potassium

High & Low Blood Pressure board

Red Rider, :)

you don't have to be retaining fluid to benefit from the use of diuretics.
Basically, these pills make your body get rid of extra water and salt by causing you to produce more urine. Hctz slows sodium (salt) absorption, thus preventing fluid retention.

Unfortunately, the action of Hctz can alter the balance of electrolytes through an increased urine loss. The ones whose levels are most often reduced are potassium, sodium, magnesium and chloride. Calcium is often markedly increased as are the cholesterol levels and blood sugar.

Watch for low blood pressure episodes with the first few doses. To that end, being on a reduced-sodium diet when you start Hctz helps a lot. While the use of Hctz may affect kidney function in some people, this is usually more of a concern for people with impaired kidney function. Your physician will make sure your electrolytes, kidney and liver functions are monitored properly.

This drug combination is usually used after both of them have been tried separately and found tolerable. Seems like you are about to skip this step. On the bright side, the 12.5 mg of hctz, though not a big dose, should prove very effective in lowering your blood pressure. Why hasn't your doctor suggested trying a medication from another antihypertensive drug class - such as an ACE inhibitor? Replacing the ineffective Diovan with another medication would make sense.

You should see a full effect of this medication within four weeks. Don't be afraid to try the Hctz - it is a small dose and not likely to cause too many side effects. Good luck.