Brand Name:Apo-Amiloride, Apo-Amilzide, Gen-Amilazide, Midamor, Moduret, Nu-Amilzide

Prescription needed: Yes

What is this drug used for?

Amiloride is most commonly used to treat high blood pressure but it may also be used for other conditions. (e.g. edema). Amiloride is a drug called a diuretic (water pill) and it helps decrease the amount of water in the body by increasing the flow of urine.

Is there any reason not to take this drug?

You should not take this drug if you are allergic to it or if you have high levels of potassium in your blood. Before taking this medication, tell your doctor specifically if you have or have ever had:
  • problems with your kidney
  • high levels of potassium in your blood (too much potassium can cause serious side effects)
  • low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • difficulty going to the bathroom (urinary incontinence)

What about possible side effects?

Some possible side effects are:
  • high levels of potassium in your blood
  • low blood pressure
  • going to the bathroom more often
  • dizziness and headache
  • nausea, not feeling hungry

These side effects are usually related to dose, the use of other medications and other factors (e.g. older age, other medical conditions). As well, some of these side effects may go away with time. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about whether you have any risk factors that may make you more sensitive to these side effects.

This is not a complete list of side effects. If you are concerned about these or other unusual symptoms while taking this medication, ask your doctor and/or pharmacist for more information and advice.

What if I am taking other drugs?

Always provide your doctor with a list of all other drugs you are taking (including over-the-counter medications and herbal/natural products) as they may interact with and/or may change the safety or effectiveness of either drug. Tell your doctor specifically if you are taking any of these drugs as he/she may need to make changes or monitor you more closely:
  • water pills (e.g. hydrochlorothiazide, furosemide)
  • potassium supplements, ACE-inhibitors (e.g. ramipril, enalapril, lisinopril), valsartan, losartan, candesartan, cyclosporine (increase the chances of having high levels of potassium in the blood which may cause serious side effects)
  • other medications to treat high blood pressure (may increase your chances for experiencing low blood pressure)
  • lithium (may increase the amount of lithium in the blood)
  • ASA & other anti-inflammatories (e.g. ibuprofen, voltaren, diclofenac) (e.g ibuprofen, naproxen, voltaren) – can increase the chances of problems with your kidney or with potassium and may decrease how well amiloride works to lower blood pressure or remove extra water from your body (e.g. edema).
  • If you are taking this drug to treat high blood pressure, be careful of certain over-the-counter medicines that may increase your blood pressure. These include some cough and cold medicines. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

This is not a complete list of drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your list of medications.

Other information:

Lab tests: Regular blood tests may be required to monitor both potassium levels and body salts.

Children: Reduced doses are required.

Seniors: Are usually more sensitive to the effects of this medication. Lower doses should be used in the beginning and you should be monitored more closely for side effects (e.g. blood levels of potassium, dizziness, incontinence, low blood pressure).

Pregnancy: Generally not prescribed. There are better alternatives for treating blood pressure in pregnancy. In general, these drugs are not useful for normal swelling of feet and hands that occurs during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor.

Women who are nursing: There is little information available on the possible effects on the baby. Talk to your doctor.

People who drive or operate machinery: Should not do so until they know the impact this drug has on them personally as it may make them dizzy.

Overdose: If you experience any unusual reactions or if you seriously exceed the recommended dosage, call your doctor or 911.

Stopping the drug: Talk to your doctor before you stop taking this drug. Stopping the drug will likely cause your blood pressure to increase or your other symptoms (e.g. swelling ankles) to return.

If you miss a dose: Take as soon as you remember. If your next dose is due within 12 hours, skip this dose and take the next scheduled dose. Never take a double dose. If you are unsure of what to do, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Storage conditions: Closed container; cool, dry location away from excess moisture (not in the bathroom); direct light, always out of reach of children.

Alcohol: No known problems. If you drink, always drink in moderation.

Dietary Precautions: Do not eat foods that are high in potassium, including bananas, tomatoes, dried fruit and salt substitutes. In order to help control your blood pressure, your doctor may suggest that you reduce the amount of salt in your diet. Avoid salt substitutes as they sometimes contain potassium.