Amiloride treats high blood pressure and fluid retention. Take amiloride with food. Avoid salt substitutes containing potassium.

Amiloride Overview

Reviewed: July 15, 2013

Amiloride is a prescription medication used to treat high blood pressure and fluid retention caused by congestive heart failure. This medication belongs to a group of drugs called diuretics ("water pills"). Specifically, it is a "potassium-sparing" diuretic which means that it works by helping the body get rid of excess fluid by increasing the amount of salt and water the kidneys remove from the blood, while still keeping potassium in the body.

This medication comes in tablet form and is usually taken once daily or every other day. Take amiloride with food.

Common side effects include headache, nausea, and diarrhea. Amiloride may cause dizziness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how it affects you.


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Amiloride Cautionary Labels


Uses of Amiloride

Amiloride is prescription medication used to treat high blood pressure and fluid retention caused by congestive heart failure.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Amiloride Brand Names

Amiloride may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Amiloride Drug Class

Amiloride is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Amiloride

Common side effects include:

  • headache
  • nausea
  • loss of appetite
  • stomach pain
  • gas
  • mild skin rash
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • dizziness

This is not a complete list of amiloride side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Serious side effects may occur. See "Drug Precautions" section.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Amiloride Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • ACE inhibitors such as benazepril (Lotensin), captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), fosinopril (Monopril), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), quinapril (Accupril), ramipril (Altace) and others
  • angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) such as azilsartan (Edarbi), candesartan (Atacand), eprosartan (Teveten), irbesartan (Avapro), losartan (Cozaar), olmesartan (Benicar), telmisartan (Micardis) and valsartan (Diovan)
  • cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune)
  • tacrolimus (Prograf)
  • other medications for high blood pressure
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Nuprin) or naproxen (Aleve), and others
  • lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid)
  • potassium products including potassium chloride (K-Dur, Klor-Con, Micro-K), potassium citrate (Urocit-K, Polycitra-K), potassium gluconate, potassium phosphate (Neutra-Phos-K, K-Phos)
  • salt substitutes that contain potassium
  • digoxin
  • spironolactone (Aldactone)
  • triamterene 

This is not a complete list of amiloride drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Amiloride Precautions

Serious side effects can occur including:

  • electrolyte imbalance. This medication may affect electrolytes including sodium and potassium. Your doctor will check these levels using a blood test. Warning signs of electrolyte imbalance include:
    • dry mouth
    • thirst
    • weakness
    • lack of energy
    • drowsiness
    • restlessness
    • muscle pains or cramps
    • muscle fatigue
    • low blood pressure
    • decreased urination
    • fast heart rate
    • nausea and vomiting
  • hyperkalemia (high blood potassium levels) has been reported with the use of all "potassium-sparing" diuretics, including amiloride. This medication should be avoided in diabetic patients.

This medication may cause drowsiness or dizziness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how it affects you.

Do not take amiloride if you:

  • are allergic to amiloride or any other ingredient of this medication
  • have kidney disease
  • have high potassium levels (hyperkalemia)
  • are taking spironolactone (Aldactone) or triamterene 

Amiloride Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of amiloride, salt substitutes containing potassium should be avoided.


Inform MD

Before taking amiloride, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • have liver disease
  • have kidney disease
  • have diabetes
  • have electrolyte imbalances
  • are allergic to any medications
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Amiloride and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Amiloride falls into category B. There are no well-done studies that have been done in humans with amiloride. But in animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication, and the babies did not show any medical issues related to this medication.


Amiloride and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

It is not known if amiloride crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this medication, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication. Your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using amiloride.


Amiloride Usage

  • Take amiloride exactly as prescribed.
  • This medication comes in tablet form and is usually taken once daily, or every other day.
  • Amiloride is best taken with food.
  • Because amiloride increases urination, it is best taken in the morning to avoid having to get up in the night to urinate. 
  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose.

Amiloride Dosage

Take amiloride exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The amiloride dose your doctor recommends will be based on:

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication

Amiloride is usually taken with another diuretic. 

The recommended starting dose is 5 mg once daily. The dose may be increased to 10 mg once daily.

Amiloride Overdose

If you take too much amiloride, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

If amiloride is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.


Other Requirements

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children.

Amiloride FDA Warning

Like other potassium-conserving agents, amiloride may cause hyperkalemia (serum potassium levels greater than 5.5 mEq per liter) which, if uncorrected, is potentially fatal. Hyperkalemia occurs commonly (about 10%) when amiloride is used without a kaliuretic diuretic. This incidence is greater in patients with renal impairment, diabetes mellitus (with or without recognized renal insufficiency), and in the elderly. When this medication is used concomitantly with a thiazide diuretic in patients without these complications, the risk of hyperkalemia is reduced to about 1-2 percent. It is thus essential to monitor serum potassium levels carefully in any patient receiving amiloride, particularly when it is first introduced, at the time of diuretic dosage adjustments, and during any illness that could affect renal function.