Diuretics are drugs which are used to reduce the amount of water in the body. Diuretics raise the rate of urination and thus provide the means of forced diuresis. According to Woodrow (2002) diuretics are most used drugs which influence functioning of the urinary tract by increasing urine excretion (p. 237).They can be categorized into four types which includes; thiazides and related diuretics, loop diuretics, potassium sparing, and osmotic diuretics.
Foye, Lemke, and Williams (2007) say “diuretic drugs may be administered acutely or chronically to treat edematous states” (p. 725). Intravenous administration of a loop diuretic is an immediate solution to minimize edema. On the other thiazide or loop diuretics are usually administered orally to treat nonemergency edematous state. Foye, Lemke, and Williams (2007) states that, “the magnitude of the diuretic response is directly proportional to the amount of edema fluid that is present” (p. 725). They continue to say if concern exists about diuretic-induced hypokalemia developing, then a potassium supplement or potassium-sparing diuretic is added to the drug regimen (p. 725).
Diuretics drugs are also useful in treating hypertension. As Foye, Lemke, and Williams (2007) explains diuretic drugs are the first drugs used to treat hypertension, and they may also be included to other drug therapies used to control blood pressure with beneficial effects (p. 725). They also continue to explain that diuretic drugs particularly thiazide and loop diuretics are administered orally to help control blood pressure (p. 725).
Diarrhea is the second common cause of infant death globally. It is a condition of having frequent loose or liquid bowel movement. However there are five categories of common diarrhea drugs which are categorized into schedules. Carlson, Eisenstat, and Ziporyn (2004) describe these schedules as follows;
- Schedule I – includes drugs with the highest risk and which no accepted medical use or accepted level of safe use. Example is hetoin.
- Schedule II – these drugs have high potential of abuse but are sometimes acceptable for use in medical research. Examples are; codeine and morphine.
- Schedule III – These are legally available by prescription to treat specific medical problem. Examples include; certain hypnotic-sedative drugs, diet pills etc.
- Schedule IV – includes barbiturate sleeping pills such as pentobarbital and minor tranquilizers, including valium,klonopin.
- Schedule V – these have the lowest potential of abuse, they includes certain drugs containing small amount of codeine or small amount of pategoric (p. 579).