Congestive heart failure diuretics
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ACC/AHA Guideline Recommendations
Congestive heart failure diuretics On the Web
Diuretics reduce circulating volume, improve symptoms and are a mainstay of therapy for congestive heart failure. While these agents improve symptoms, they have not been associated with a reduction in mortality and are associated with electrolyte imbalances.
Indications for Diuretics Use
- Diuretics are indicated for the treatment of all patients with previous or current congestive heart failure symptoms.
Benefits of Diuretics
- Reduction of the intravascular volume
- Reduction of the preload and relaxation of the pulmonary venules
- Reduction of the wall stress
- Improvement of the left ventricular remodeling
- Improvement of symptoms but not survival
- In fact higher doses of lasix are associated with higher mortality, likely as a results of higher doses being a marker of more severe disease.
- Inhibit the Na+/Cl- co transporter in the distal convoluted tube.
- Although thiazide diuretics are effective in mild heart failure they are usually inadequate for the treatment of severe heart failure.
- Thiazide diuretics have also been associative with hyponatremia.
- Agents in this class include Furosemide or lasix, bumetanide, ethacrynic acid and torsemide.
- Loop diuretics inhibit the Na+/K+/Cl- transporter.
- Fluid retention usually responds best to furosemide (Lasix)
- If there is no response to the initial dose then it can be increased by at least 50%.
- The maintenance dose of the diuretics is lower than that required to initiate diuresis, and for lasix it is usually 10 to 20 mg per day.
- The patient should be told to return to their physician in the next three to seven days after initiation for further assessment including assessment of their potassium concentration.
- Weight loss should not exceed 1 to 2 pounds/day.
- If the patient gains more than two pounds and they are instructed to double the dose of their loop diuretic.
- Once the baseline weight has been re-established than they can resume their previous status.
- Higher lasix doses are associated with higher mortality, likely as a surrogate of disease severity rather than part of a causal pathway.
- Intermittent use of metolazone into dose of 2.5 or 5 mg can be given if the patient is refractory to furosemide Lasix. Metolazone should be given in the inpatient setting.
Potassium Sparing Diuretics
- The role of potassium sparing diuretics such as spironolactone (Aldactone), amiloride, or triamterene remains the subject of controversy.
- Spironolactone is currently recommended only as third line therapy for congestive heart failure.
- These agents inhibit Na reabsorbtion and Potassium secretion in the distal convoluted tubule and cortical collecting duct.
- Their significant side effect is hyperkalemia.
- Extreme caution is necessary when adding a potassium sparing agent to the regiment that includes ACE inhibitors particularly when diabetes or renal disease is present because the patient can become hyperkalemic.
- Contraction or metabolic alkalosis
- Increaes in the levels of neurohormones
- Hyponatremia (with thiazides diuretics)
2017 ACC/AHA/HFSA Focused Update of the 2013 ACCF/AHA Guideline for the Management of Heart Failure
1. Diuretics should be used for relief of symptoms due to volume overload in patients with HFpEF. (Class I, Level of Evidence: B)
Vote on and Suggest Revisions to the Current Guidelines
- The ACC/AHA 2005 Guideline Update for the Diagnosis and Management of Chronic Heart Failure in the Adult 
- 2009 focused update: ACCF/AHA Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Heart Failure in Adults: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines: developed in collaboration with the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation 
- Hunt SA, Abraham WT, Chin MH, Feldman AM, Francis GS, Ganiats TG, Jessup M, Konstam MA, Mancini DM, Michl K, Oates JA, Rahko PS, Silver MA, Stevenson LW, Yancy CW, Antman EM, Smith SC Jr, Adams CD, Anderson JL, Faxon DP, Fuster V, Halperin JL, Hiratzka LF, Jacobs AK, Nishimura R, Ornato JP, Page RL, Riegel B; American College of Cardiology; American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines; American College of Chest Physicians; International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation; Heart Rhythm Society. ACC/AHA 2005 Guideline Update for the Diagnosis and Management of Chronic Heart Failure in the Adult: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines (Writing Committee to Update the 2001 Guidelines for the Evaluation and Management of Heart Failure): developed in collaboration with the American College of Chest Physicians and the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation: endorsed by the Heart Rhythm Society. Circulation. 2005 Sep 20; 112(12): e154-235. Epub 2005 Sep 13. PMID 16160202
- Jessup M, Abraham WT, Casey DE, Feldman AM, Francis GS, Ganiats TG et al. (2009) 2009 focused update: ACCF/AHA Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Heart Failure in Adults: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines: developed in collaboration with the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation. Circulation 119 (14):1977-2016. DOI:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.192064 PMID: 19324967