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Amiloride is used for treatment of hypokalemia (low levels of potassium in blood) and edema (swelling due to accumulation of excess fluid). It is also used as an adjunct (to thiazide or loop diuretics) for maintaining blood potassium at normal level during long term management of high blood pressure, congestive heart failure (heart failure leading to accumulation of fluid in lung and rest of the body) and liver problems (liver cirrhosis with ascites).

How it works

Amiloride is a potassium conserving drug that belongs to a group of medicines called diuretics. It prevents the absorption of excess sodium by body and promotes the loss of excess water and sodium from body through urine while maintaining body potassium at normal level.

Common side effects

Vomiting, Nausea, Diarrhoea, Abdominal pain, Allergic reaction, Shortness of breath, Constipation, Cough, Dizziness, Fatigue, Headache, Increased potassium level in blood, Impotence, Loss of appetite, Muscle cramp, Weakness


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Expert advice

  • Inform your doctor if you are suffering from/have a history of difficulty in breathing, diabetes/heart/liver disease, abnormal levels of salts (electrolytes) in blood, increased blood urea levels, increased levels of acid in blood (acidosis).
  • Do not take potassium supplements along with amiloride, it can cause severe hyperkalaemia.
  • Amiloride may interfere with the results of glucose tolerance test. Talk to your doctor about instructions on use of this medicine before undergoing the test.
  • Tell your doctor if you are or are planning to become pregnant or are breast-feeding.
  • Do not use high salt diet while on amiloride treatment.
  • Avoid consumption of alcohol as it may worsen the side effects. 
  • Do not drive or operate machinery as amiloride can cause dizziness.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is amiloride a sulfa drug/contain sulfa?
No. Amiloride is not a sulfa drug (does not belong to sulfonamide group of medicines).
Q. Is amiloride the same as amlodipine?
No. Amiloride and amlodipine are two different drugs and are used for treatment of different illnesses. Consult your doctor before administering any of these drugs.
Q. Is amiloride a loop diuretic/beta blocker/aldosterone antagonist/thiazide?
No. Amiloride is not a loop diuretic / a beta blocker or aldosterone antagonist. Neither does it belong to the ‘thiazide’ group of medicines. It is a potassium–sparing diuretic.
Q. Is amiloride a generic?
Yes, amiloride is a generic name of the medicine that belongs to class of drug called as diuretics.
Q. Does amiloride cause gout?
Increase in blood uric acid levels is known side effect of amiloride, which can occasionally lead to gout attacks. Consult a doctor if you observe any symptoms related to gout after taking this medicine.
Q. Does amiloride cause hair loss/acidosis?
Hair loss/acidosis is a known side effect of amiloride. 
Q. How does amiloride cause hyperkalemia/does it cause hyponatremia?
Amiloride has potassium conserving ability and hence may cause hyperkalemia. It prevents absorption and promotes the loss of sodium from the body and hence may cause hyponatremia.
Q. Does amiloride cause gynecomastia/weight gain?
Amiloride is not known to cause gynecomastia or weight gain. Please consult your doctor if you observe such symptoms after taking this medicine.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)