How do I Choose the Best over-The-Counter Diuretics?

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  • Written By: Sherry Holetzky
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 18 October 2019
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Choosing appropriate over-the-counter diuretics depends a great deal upon overall health history, the condition for which one hopes to obtain relief, and any other current conditions or treatments being undergone. While these products are generally considered safe when used appropriately, there is still the risk of side effects as well as adverse interactions with other drugs being taken. Consult with a health-care professional before taking any medication, including over-the-counter diuretics or natural diuretics.

For mild, occasional water retention, foods with diuretic properties such as celery or cranberries may be all that is needed. Foods and beverages that contain caffeine also have diuretic properties. For greater relief, a natural fluid reduction supplement or over-the-counter diuretics may be indicated. There are various types, brands, and strengths of these products from which to choose.

Keep in mind that using even an over-the-counter diuretic may result in potassium depletion. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about potassium-sparing diuretics. Be aware that overuse of diuretics can also cause dehydration.

While over-the-counter diuretics for water retention are sometimes used to drop a few pounds quickly, they are not generally recommended for weight loss. They do not remove body fat, only water weight, which is not permanent weight loss. They also tend to be abused, increasing health risks. The better alternative would be to incorporate lower doses of natural diuretics or foods with diuretic elements into one’s diet over time.


It is wise to thoroughly read labels on such products as well. The instructions and dosage should be followed precisely. Compare labels to evaluate the types and amounts of active ingredients in each product. A store brand or generic over-the-counter diuretic may offer comparable quality and efficiency to the national brand, at a lower price.

Do not forget to look at the inactive ingredients as well; doing so can help one choose over-the-counter diuretics if there are any ingredients that are likely to cause an allergic reaction. Check for any potential side effects. When comparing labels, it also makes sense to choose a product that offers a contact number, which can be called toll free to ask questions or share concerns.

Note that a fast acting product may be best used when one intends to stay at home or has good access to a restroom, as trips will be more frequent. After all, the idea behind using diuretics is to remove fluid from the body by way of increased urination. If it is not possible to stay at home or use the restroom frequently, less potent over-the-counter diuretics should be chosen.


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Post 2

If you choose to take over-the-counter diuretics is there an easy way to combat any potassium depletion?

I know that bananas are high in potassium and just one can provide about 20% of your daily requirements. Would anyone have any additional tips or great food to suggest?

Post 1

There are some great natural diuretics that you can try before heading to the pharmacy. I find that vegetables like cucumbers, cabbage, carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, and eggplant can be really great for when you are feeling puffy. The added fiber in your diet also makes heading to the bathroom much easier which can help you feel less bloated.

In addition to food additions, I also drink green tea to help reduce water retention. I find it soothing and it tastes great.

Cranberry juice is also pretty famous for being a natural diuretic. Though, if you are trying to avoid extra calories, I would choose an unsweetened version.

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