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Water Pill Review - 18 Things You Need to Know

A water pill is a diuretic used to rid the body of excess water. Some brands of water pills claim it helps with weight loss. Loss of water weight tends to be temporary relief.

Based on the main purpose of this pill, it seems you may only lose weight temporarily, not permanently like the company states. To find out how effective the water pill is for long term weight loss, our research team dug deep into the science. Throughout their research, here is what they found.

Water Pill Readers: Noom is offering our readers a 14-day trial, for a limited time. Click here for this special offer!
Overview

What are Water Pills?

Water pills, also known as diuretics, are a class of drug that causes the excretion of excess water from the body in the form of urine.

The process of producing excess urine is called diuresis. Professionals prescribe water pills to people with certain medical conditions that they can alleviate by ridding the body of extra water.

Water pills assist the kidneys in producing urine to expel excess salt and water that cause bloating.

Water pills

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How Did Water Pills Start?

Compared to other medical advances, water pills is fairly recent. In 1918, Alfred Vogl was the first to note the efficacy of merbaphen, an organic substance that was effective in combatting the scourge of dropsy and oedema.

He immediately noticed an increase in the urinary patter with the introduction of the mercurial substance. Syphilis was the first major disease that was treated with the therapy of diuresis and the results were recorded. There was a higher level of urinary expulsion of salt from the body.

Vogl published his findings in 1920 and water pills were introduced into the medical landscape. People initially used water pills to treat dropsy and edema. They have since become a popular treatment for heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.

Types of Water Pills

Pharmaceutical water pills are divided into three broad groups based on their composition, mechanism, and functions.

The three types of water pills are:

Thiazide Diuretics

This class is the most commonly bought and prescribed in the world. They are usually the first line of treatment in dealing with heart conditions. Thiazide water pills work by making the blood vessels in the body relax, helping blood flow more easily.

The relaxation of blood vessels is called vasodilation. Thiazide diuretics ease the heart’s blood-pumping function.

Loop Diuretics

This class of diuretics is usually administered to patients with abnormal or impaired kidney function. According to the Annals of Clinical Biochemistry: International Journal of Laboratory Medicine, this is unlike thiazide diuretics, which are prescribed to patients with healthy kidneys.

Potassium-Sparing Diuretics

This class of diuretics is usually administered alongside either of the previous two classes. Thiazides and loop diuretics deplete the body’s potassium levels and can cause an adverse effect in the end.

According to Renal Physiology, potassium-sparing diuretics work by ensuring that the the active chemicals or agents in other diuretics don’t affect potassium levels.

These three types of water pills react with the kidneys to effectively carry out diuresis in the body.

You must take them under the direction and guidance of a doctor or any other qualified professional.

Water pills ingredients

Ingredients

Water Pills Ingredients

The active ingredients in the water pills depend on the class of diuretics it belongs to. Thiazide, loop, and potassium-sparing diuretics have radically different active agents.

For example, patients who intend to purchase the popular brand, Lasix, over the counter should know the active agent in it is furosemide, which puts it in the loop diuretic class, according to WebMD.

Grouping by class and popular brands, the active agent or chemical in water pills is:

Thiazide

  • Chlorothiazide (Diuril)
  • Chlorthalidone
  • Hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide)
  • Indapamide
  • Metolazone

Loop

  • Bumetanide (Bumex)
  • Ethacrynic acid (Edecrin)
  • Furosemide (Lasix)
  • Torsemide (Demadex)

Potassium-Sparing

  • Amiloride
  • Eplerenone (Inspra)
  • Spironolactone (Aldactone)
  • Triamterene (Dyrenium)

The grouping of the ingredient is based on the mechanism of the water pill containing the same ingredient.

Brands

Water Pill Brands

Diuretic water pills have become a mainstay in the healthcare sector with more people buying water pills over the counter.

There are quite some diuretics on the market for purchase that the FDA has approved.

LiveStrong lists the following as approved brands of water pill in the United States of America.

Thiazide Brands

  • Diuril
  • Hydrodiuril
  • Hydromox

Loop Diuretics Brand

  • Bumex
  • Lasix
  • Edecrin

Potassium-Sparing Brand

  • Aldactone
  • Dyrenium
  • Midamor
Benefits & Results

Water Pill Benefits and Results

Water pills can serve the following purposes:

Bloating Reduction

Bloating is a medical condition that arises from the accumulation of excessive fluid due to disorders or hormonal imbalances.

It can be caused by consuming too much salt and can be due to a syndrome associated with the onset of menstruation.

Users can consume water pills preemptively before the onset of menstruation to prevent such build-up of fluids.

Improved Kidney Function

Water pills can alleviate some symptoms of potential organ failure for patients who have impaired kidneys.

Pulmonary edema, which is a result of the kidneys not functioning properly and causing fluid build-up in the lungs, can be eased with the administration of a diuretic.

The removal of this excess fluid from the lungs leads to the patient having a clear respiratory tract.

Water pills benefits

Treating Heart Disease

The diuretic function of the pills rids the body of salt.

Water pills ensure the heart does not encounter any undue stress while it is pumping and circulating blood.

Water pills

Water Pills and Weight Loss

Due to the effects of the water pills, there are a lot of claims about using water pills for weight loss. However, these claims are inaccurate. The pills only serve to get rid of excess water and have no effect on reducing fat content.

There is no research to back the claims that water pills reduce body fat, and medical professionals have warned that abusing water pills to lose weight will have the opposite effect.

So while water pills may serve to reduce an individual’s water weight, the loss is only marginal and temporary, as it is not a sustainable means of weight loss.

Even the strongest over-the-counter water pill has no potential of cutting down excess body fat.

According to LiveStrong, weight loss during the period of consuming water pills reverts when the body readjusts to its normal water absorption rate upon stopping the medication.

Matthew Brengman, MD, says that using water pills can alter your body’s chemistry. As they cause you to urinate more, this leads to the loss of electrolytes that could have life-threatening consequences.

Claims

Water Pill Claims

There is a myriad of uses for water pills. Extensive research backs some of these claims.

Water pills have been approved for the treatment of the edema.

The most popular non-prescription use of water pills is weight loss or a reduction in body fat. However, no research backs such claims and they cannot be verified.

Another over-the-counter use of water pills is for acne. Due to the composition of certain brands, there is a noted improvement in the treatment of acne in certain individuals. Despite noticeable results, there is no viable research and no FDA approval for using water pills to treat acne.

Water pills warnings

Warnings

Water Pill Product Warnings

Different brands have warnings and side effects of their products.

Athletes and those with eating disorders often abuse these pills the most to temporarily lose weight or dilute banned substances.

The general warnings, side effects, and contraindications for water pills include the following:

Warnings

Individuals who have, or at the risk of, any of the following conditions should avoid taking water pills or speak to a doctor before consuming the same:

  • History of heart conditions
  • People with allergies
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • Elderly individuals must consult with doctors before using
  • Children should take a lower dose

The warnings are due to the risk of dehydration in the elderly and young children. Dehydrated individuals are more likely to pass out due to the imbalance in their body chemistry that a diuretic may cause.

Expectant or breastfeeding mothers should also avoid using them during and immediately after giving birth to prevent contaminating the infant’s breast milk with the chemicals in the medication.

You should not use water pills if you’re on:

  • cyclosporine
  • lithium
  • digoxin

Water pills side effects

Side Effects

Water Pill Side Effects

Although water pills are one of the most popular over the counter medications, they still have their fair share of side effects if abused or administered wrongly without a medical professional’s direction.

The most obvious side effects of using a diuretic water pill are:

  • Dehydration
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness

Ensure to consume sufficient water during the duration of use and even after. Due to the removal of excess sodium and water, water pills may cause a mineral imbalance in the body. This can lead to a sharp increase in blood sugar levels.

The side effects include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Dehydration due to excessive loss of water in urine
  • Increased thirst
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhea
  • Low sodium levels
  • Too much/little blood potassium
  • Gout
  • Mineral imbalance
  • Seizures
  • Respiratory problems
  • Muscle cramps
  • Rashes

Severe side effects

  • impotence
  • irregular periods
  • breast enlargement in men

Water pills can also mess with medications treating:

  • pancreatitis
  • lupus
  • gout
  • menstrual problems
  • dehydration

Water Pill Alternatives

Despite the benefits and merits of taking pharmaceutical water pills, some individuals may desire alternatives due to some factors.

The side effects that water pills bring might be too unbearable for people to endure or they may have an allergic reaction to the medication.

Thankfully there are some natural diuretics that can induce diuresis in humans.

According to LiveStrong, some natural diuretics include:

Directions

How to Take a Water Pill

The very first step towards taking a water pill is speaking to a doctor about whether you need one. They will examine your medical history and write the right prescription depending on your needs.

According to LiveStrong, upon purchase of the water pills, the following steps must be taken to ensure safe and effective dosage:

Take your dose in the morning. Taking a water pill in the evening can lead to disturbed sleep due to a need to urinate throughout the night.

Drink an adequate amount of water to prevent dehydration. Through the course of the day, you must ensure you consume water to prevent adverse reactions.

Water Pill Lawsuits

Due to the worldwide approval of water pills as a verifiable and research-based treatment method, this protects brands from lawsuits. There are no lawsuits or claims based on adverse effects of a diuretic water pill.

Use of Water Pills in Sports

Due to the diuretic function of water pills, athletes have embraced them for various reasons.

According to the British Journal of Pharmacology, water pills, and diuretics in general, are banned in most sporting competitions because of its performance-enhancing the ability and its use for ridding the body of illicit substances to cheat mandatory testing.

Boxers take water pills before a fight to lose water weight and drop to a lower weight class. This deception allows a boxer an undue advantage when he eventually regains the weight before the actual fight.

Water pills also act as a masking agent. People use them to prevent detection of banned substances during testing due to the dilution of fluids by diuresis.

LiveStrong says that The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have placed diuretics on their list of banned substances both during and outside the duration of competitions.

How to use Water pills

Abuse of Water Pills

There is a risk of drug abuse with the consumption of diuretic water pills. Although the drugs have no addictive potential, it still has a risk of abuse.

This type of abuse can lead to terrible side effects in the long run.

Water Pill Pricing

Most retailers sell a variety of water pills for reasonable prices. They usually range between $4-10 for 45-60 pills.

Where to Buy?

Where to Buy Water Pills

  • Walgreens
  • Amazon.com
  • GNC
  • iHerb
  • Vitamin Shoppe
  • Walmart

What Users Are Saying

“I have tried different versions of Diurex, and this particular kind works best for me to relieve bloating. I think different kinds (tablets, AquaGels, long-lasting, etc.) work for different people. The tablets don’t do anything for me, but these work wonders. Try different types if these don’t work.”

“I started taking Water Away to help reduce water retention. I suffer from discomfort with extreme swelling in my feet and legs. I have been taking two Water Away pills each day for several months. I notice some relief with the Water Away pills. However, I started wearing compression socks which provides even more relief. The results of taking the Water Away pills, and also wearing the compression socks daily, provide greater relief.”

“I’ve been on a protein sparing modified diet for the last 2 weeks. Noted that I started to slow down on the weight lost. My coach suggested that I try this. for 5 days I took twice daily as suggested by the dosage. Measured water loss using my Garmin Index Scale. Not a single ounce of water was lost. In fact I gained water!”

Bottom Line

The Bottom Line on Water Pills

There’s no reason to believe, based on science, that a water pill will help you reach your goals.

If you’d like to get a jump-start on weight-loss, you may want to skip the water pill and try a program that can help you make better choices and lose weight along the way.

Among the best programs we’ve seen this year is a supplement called Noom. This weight-loss program gives you personalized meal plans, human coaching, and more. Plus, the entire program is available on an easy-to-use app, which we love.

Noom is so confident that you’ll love their program that they’re offering Dietspotlight readers a 14-day trial, which is a good sign.

Learn More About Noom »
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Water Pill

Q:
What are the side effects of water pills?
A:

Based on customer reviews, water pill side effects may include diarrhea, dehydration, headache, nausea, stomachache, vomiting, dizziness [1], muscle cramps, blurred vision, increased urination and low blood pressure.

Q:
What is in water pills?
A:

Water pill ingredients are caffeine anhydrous, uva ursi extract, juniper berry extract, parsley leaf, buchu leaf extract, alfalfa, potassium, green tea extract, dandelion root, senna leaf, Pamabrom, apple cider vinegar, cranberry and vitamin b6.

Q:
What is the active ingredient in water pills?
A:

The active ingredient in water pills depends on the brand.

Q:
How much does a bottle of water pills cost?
A:

A bottle of water pills cost between $10 to $20, based on the brand.

Q:
How do you take water pills?
A:

You should always take water pills in accordance with the instructions on the bottle.

Q:
Who makes water pills?
A:

The makers of water pills vary by brand.

Q:
Do water pills affect your body’s potassium levels?
A:

Yes, water pills can reduce potassium and electrolyte levels in the body, which is why many water pills contain potassium, calcium and b vitamins.

Q:
Can water pills cause menstrual cycle irregularities?
A:

Yes, water pills can cause changes in your menstrual cycle.

Q:
Do water pills work?
A:

Water pills can contain diuretics [2], stimulants and natural laxatives, so they can help flush fluids from the body. Frequent urination is common. While taking this product can result in some weight reduction, the weight lost is not body fat. It should not be used for extended periods of time, because that can lead to dehydration and loss of electrolytes.

If your goal is long-term weight-loss, it’s a good idea to consider substituting water pills for a diet product backed by some fantastic user reviews such as Dietspotlight Burn.

Q:
What does a water pill do for you?
A:

Water pills, also known as diuretics, improve heart problems, high blood pressure, and lung disorders.

Q:
How does a water pill work?
A:

Water pills work by boosting the salt and water that passes through in urine. By removing salt, it can prevent too much fluid from being stored in the blood vessels, which can increase the blood pressure in the body.

Q:
Do water pills really work?
A:

Water pills offer results in an average of two weeks by flushing out excess water and salt that is present in the kidneys. They continue to be one of the most commonly prescribed medications by medical professionals due to their effectiveness.

Q:
What are some of the names of water pills?
A:

Common names of water pills include bumetanide, loop diuretics, furosemide Lasix, and torsemide Demadex.

Q:
What is a water pill called?
A:

The water pill is called Furosemide tablets, which prevents too much water from being in the body once oedema develops.

Q:
Do water pills make you bloated?
A:

Water bills do not cause bloating and can treat the symptom by temporarily releasing excess water that is stored in the body.

Q:
What are the side effects of taking water pills?
A:

Common side effects of taking water pills include thirst, headaches, abdominal cramping, high blood sugar, and dizziness, low potassium levels, and low sodium levels.

22 Water Pill Reviews

  • Can I safely take myself off this pill?
    Liz (Verified Purchase)

    I have poor circulation in my legs. Hi humidity makes the ankles swell. I also have high blood pressure taking 5mg Rampril .Started that at age of 50 ..50 was a fantastic year lost 40ibs left the the guy that stressed me. Then doc says I should take the water pill. Well, you listen to your doc? Since I’ve been on it.. I’ve gained back the weight .which is weird because I’m hi energy! Eat very healthy! Can I safely take myself off this pill?

    Reply
    • Dee

      Get a second opinion from another Dr. Most insurance showy for this.
      And have your thyroid checked. There are six tests for thyroid disorder.

      Reply
    • Ladybug ????

      Well my Dr. Put me on water pill for my ankle swelling my script says take one a day for leg swelling as needed…. I definitely won’t take unless I have apparent swelling because I got the worst headache I have had in a long time that took forever to go away not to mention stomach pains and nausea… I hardly ever throw up but I did…. Also bad constipation comes with it… But my Dr told me as needed so yes you can stop taking them if they make you feel awful but I will say I can actually see my ankle bone in just 2 short days along with elevation!!!! But my leg will have to be severely swelled for me to take another dose… Last time I felt like that I had food poisoning…

      Reply
  • No doctor's consent
    Steff, RN (Verified Purchase)

    Takin any extra medication without a doctors consent is generally a bad idea.
    As mentioned above, you must be careful with diuretics. It is not safe to toy with your dose without the docs say so. He/she prescribes what is safe*. I understand the swelling may be uncomfortable, but self medicating could interfere with other meds, and extra diuretics could make you lose too much of what you need causing an imbalance (fluid, electrolyte) which could be very bad I.e. low blood pressure, syncope (passing out), Which could lead to serious injury, irregular heart rhythms, muscle cramping, so on.
    I would let your doc know you are unhappy with the regimen and if it is SAFE they will change it.

    Reply
  • Water weight
    MaryHelen Ferguson (Verified Purchase)

    I take the water pill but also take potassium pill to balance electrilites…feel great…do have to go alot to get rid of water…

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      Do you take them together like soon as you can the water pill you take the potassium right behind it and have you maintained your weight lose if any and also do you exercise ? Thanks

      Reply
  • This hurt my legs
    Mel Rethlake (Verified Purchase)

    since i have been on the water pill my legs have been hurting and i feel like i can hardly move/walk

    Reply
    • Zack Simmons

      Yup, i bet you can’t believe how so many people are that stupid. Hey, nice spelling, by the way…

      Reply
      • Your Name

        lol

        Reply
  • Suggestion to make things better
    ernest (Verified Purchase)

    I have a very mild swelling in only my right ankle. Docs seem to push the pill. My problem may be due to an ankle injury year ago. What can i do to help control? I exercise, drink tea (diuretic)

    Reply
  • Want to know the side effect
    John Rudolph

    I had a Thrombose(Blood Clot) a couple years ago and since then my one leg swells up. The Doc said not to worry it is just water. Can I take these pills?

    Reply
  • Product causes dehydration
    Crystal (Verified Purchase)

    For me water pills cause me to become dehydrated even drinking 64oz or more of water a day. I was taking them in conjunction with an appetite suppressant prescribed to me at a weight loss clinic. This led to extreme constant constipation, to the extent where I couldnt go for a week and had to take various extreme measures to cause bowel movements. This obviously doesnt happen to everyone but I just wanted to put it out there for anyone who is considering this or who may be having this issue and not realizing it is being caused by the water pill.

    Reply
    • Teresa

      I’m having very similar issues after being put on a water pill, what were the extreme measures you took? I’m there and need to do something NOW to avoid surgery for this. Any info is helpful!

      Reply
  • 135

    I used it today to lose a few pounds in wrestling I felt it as soon as I took it I pissed 8 times today and lost 8 pounds I got sweatty and hot it helped me focus more I encourge it for fast weight lose even with a minor leg crap

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      i am a wrestler too, i have 12 to lose in 3 days will this help me out alot? and what kind of the water pills did you buy and how many did you take a day?

      Reply
  • Can I use this when blood pressure is down?
    Hiyahad

    My blood pressure is down, should I continue to take my water 25mg waterpill? I also take 40mg of Diovan.

    Reply
  • I had light strock but not affected
    franklin bush (Verified Purchase)

    doctoer has me on waterpill i had light strock but not affected i go to bathroom even when i dont take pill a lot when i take pill i cant go away as i have to go to much i dont think i need it my blood pressue is 136/77r

    Reply
  • Side effect
    Judy Landacre (Verified Purchase)

    I GET CHARLIE HORSES ONCE IN AWHILE BUT THEY USUALLY GO AWAY WHEN I GET UP AND WALK AROUND, BUT THE OTHER MORNING, I WAS IN SO MUCH PAIN FROM MY TOES CLEAR THROUGH MY STOMACH, ARMS, BACK OF MY HEAD, I COULDN’T WALK, SIT DOWN, LAY DOWN, I STARTED SWEATING AND MY LEGS WERE BURNING AND I FELT LIKE I WAS GOING TO GET SICK. I HAVE NEVER BEEN IN THAT MUCH PAIN IN MY ENTIRE LIFE AND I AM NOW 60 YRS OLD. MY BOYFRIEND TRIED TO RUB IT OUT LIKE HE DOES SOMETIMES BUT THAT WASN’T WORKING EITHER, SO I HAD HIM CALL 911 AND THEY TOOK ME OUT TO THE ER. THEY RAN BLOOD WORK, BUT IT ALL CAME BACK OKAY, THEY GAVE ME A MUSCLE RELAXER AND THAT WAS A LIFE SAVER. THEY THOUGHT MAYBE IT WAS MY PRAVATATIN OR MY WATER PILL, HYDROCHLOROTHIAZIDE. BUT I HAVE BEEN ON MY WATER PILL FOR AWHILE. THE CHOSTEROL PILL I WAS ON 40M AND ABOUT 2 OR 3 WKS AGO THEY UPPED IT TO 80M. THE PHARMACY THAT I GO TO, THINKS THAT THEY UPPED IT TO HIGH AND THAT STATIN IN IT CAN CAUSE MUSCLE CRAMPS, THEN THE GIRL IN THE ER SAID THAT IT COULD BE MY WATER PILL, BUT THAT IS HELPING TO KEEP MY BLOOD PRESSURE DOWN AND I HADN’T HAD ANY MAJOR PROBLEMS UNTIL THEY UPPED THAT PRAVASTATIN. DO YOU THINK IT COULD HAVE BEEN MY WATER PILL, I DON’T KNOW REALLY OF THE SIDE EFFECTS FOR MY WATER PILL. HOPE YOU CAN HELP ME, I AM GOING TO TRY TO GET INTO MY DOCTOR ON MONDAY, I STILL AM WONDERING WHAT CAUSES ALL THAT PAIN. SOME ONE THOUGHT THAT I MIGHT HAVE HAD A BLOOD CLOT.

    Reply
    • Randy

      I had the same problem with leg cramping and was on a water pill which DR.took me off of. I still had leg cramping problems after he took me off water pill until I read the book called the PH Miracle and now I don’t have them anymore. It was an answer to prayer for me for i too thought it was blood clots but I now know it was cramps which are very painful and you feel that they will never go away. So read the book and learn what causes leg cramps.

      Reply
    • Anonymous

      You have to take a potassium pill to avoid leg cramping or eat foods high in potassium

      Reply
  • water pills actually make me sick
    livey (Verified Purchase)

    water pills actually make me sick

    Reply
    • NEZ

      yup I vomitted right after I took it!!!!

      Reply