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Triamterene is used to remove excess salts from the body, while retaining potassium. It is used to treat swelling due to fluid retention (oedema) in heart diseases (cardiac failure), liver diseases (cirrhosis of the liver) or kidney diseases (nephrotic syndrome), and in edema associated with corticosteroid treatment. They are used alone or in combination with other diuretic which cause potassium depletion.

How it works

Triamterene belongs to a class of medicines known as potassium sparing diuretics. It acts by directly inhibiting the exchange of sodium for potassium and hydrogen in the kidney; thus causing excretion of sodium salts and conservation of potassium.

Common side effects

Acne-like rash, Bruise, Bleeding, Heart rate irregular, Bradycardia, Decreased blood pressure, Dry mouth, Difficulty in swalloing, Shortness of breath, Dizziness, Headache, Influenza like symptoms, Loss of appetite, Muscle weakness, Sore throat, Stomach upset, Vomiting, Diarrhoea


Expert advice

  • Do not take the triamterene if you are allergic to it or to any other content in the medicine or to sulfonamide class of drugs.
  • Do not take the triamterene if you have serious liver or kidney disorder; Addison’s disease; high levels of potassium in your blood (hyperkalemia); diabetes mellitus, excess uric acid in the body (gout) or deficiency of folic acid.
  • Do not start or continue triamterene if you have enlarged prostate or difficulty in passing urine.
  • Avoid using triamterene if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant or breast-feeding a baby.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is triamterene beta-blocker/ACE inhibitor/sulfa drug/ calcium-channel blocker/ blood thinner /thiazide diuretic?
No. Triamterene is not a beta-blocker/ACE inhibitor/sulfa drug/ blood thinner/thiazide diuretic. It is a potassium sparing diuretic.
Q. Is triamterene safe?
Yes. Triamterene is relatively safe if used as recommended. In case of any side-effects, consult your doctor.
Q. Can I take triamterene with Benadryl, Advil or phentermine?
Triamterene should not be taken with Benadryl (diphenhydramine) or Advil (ibuprofen). It can be taken with phentermine only if prescribed by your doctor.
Q. Does triamterene cause weight loss, weight gain, erectile dysfunction, low blood pressure or constipation?
Triamterene may cause weight gain, low blood pressure or erectile dysfunction. Triamterene alone is not expected to cause weight loss or constipation (unless taken in combination with hydrochlorothiazide). If you experience any such symptoms, please consult your doctor.

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