Over the Counter Water Pills Dangers, Side Effects and Long-Term Use

Over the counter, drugs are a group of drugs that are easily accessible and bought without a doctor’s prescription. These types of drugs are sold directly to a consumer even without the prescription from a medical or healthcare worker. Water pills or diuretics are groups of drugs that help in enhancing the excretion of water and waste products from the body in form of urine. Majority of the body fat found in humans is made up of water and called water fat.

Diuretics or water pills help in the elimination of water from the body and can be used for treating hypertension and other medical conditions.  There are some water pills and diuretics that can be sold over the counter without a doctor’s prescription or medical prescription.

The availability of over the counter water pills has given people the chance to bastardize this drug with the sole aim of losing weight without taken the consequences into effect.

Water pills are not miracle pills but are low dosage diuretics designed primarily to treat hypertension, reduce blood volume, and increased water and salt excretion. This is one of the most common drugs used by many fitness enthusiast and models with the aim of rapid weight loss. The results boosted by these pills are very rapid and marvelous to behold but at what cost?. We live in an era where people are only interested in the result without considering the consequences.

Before Starting any diet journey or use any miracle or weight loss pills, It is necessary to consider the consequence of the diet or drugs on your health.Most miracle pills or diet pills are hazardous to your health especially when used for a prolonged period of time.

Water pills are often used by people suffering from eating disorders to achieve rapid and temporary weight loss for cosmetic purpose. Athletes are also known for their consistent use of water pills to eliminate and detoxify their body system of banned substances used prior to the competition. The anti-doping department often test athletes for diuretics and doping substance prior to the competition.

Types of Diuretics

Diuretics are classified based on their mechanism of action and individual components. the major types of diuretics include:

  1. Loop diuretics: These types of diuretics acts on the kidney loops to enhance the excreting functions of the kidney. The most common examples of loop diuretics are furosemide, torsemide, and They are often used in the treatment of heart failure.
  2. Thiazide Diuretics: This is the most common type of diuretics used for treating They are used for relaxing blood vessels and treating hypertension Examples of thiazide diuretics includes hydrochlorothiazide and metolazone.
  3. Potassium Sparing Diuretics: These types of diuretics are often combined with other medications because they increase excretion of fluid from the body while sparing potassium. The drugs help in preventing various medical conditions such as arrhythmia and muscle cramps due to hypokalemia. Examples of potassium-sparing diuretics include spironolactone, amiloride, and


7 Side Effects and Long-Term Effects of Water Pills

There are numerous consequences of prolonged use of water pills on your health, especially when used without your doctor’s prescription. The most common side effects include:

  1. Dehydration: This is the most common side effect of prolonged use of water pills because each water pills eliminates about 3 ounces of water from your body per urine output. The increased fluid loss from the body caused by this water pills can leave the body in a severely depleted  This increased fluid loss from the body leads to electrolyte dysbalance in the body due to electrolyte depletion. There is usually a loss of major electrolytes from the body due to prolonged intake of water pills. The electrolyte loss could interfere with the normal function of major organs of the body such as heart, brain.
  2. Cardiovascular damage: The heart does not receive enough nutrients due to electrolyte depletion in people that use diet pills for a prolonged period of time. The hearts try to compensate for these reduced electrolytes by increasing its frequency of contraction. Patients often experience palpitations due to the body’s compensatory mechanism for dehydration.
  3. Neurological symptoms: Delirium, fainting, unconsciousness, and dizziness are common neurological symptoms of prolonged intake of water pills. There is a level of electrolytes and nutrients needed for the brain to function Dehydration reduces optimal level of nutrients and electrolytes available for the brain leading to various neurological symptoms.
  4. Rebound Weight gain: Prolonged intake of water pills could cause weight gain through a process called rebound phenomena. The mechanism of action of most types of water pills is increased excretion of water and salt. When people stop this drug, the circulatory system of the body is shocked by this sudden change in homeostasis. This raid homeostatic change elicits a compensatory response of water retention by the circulatory system of the body. the most prominent part of the body for this water retention is the leg and is characterized by leg edema.
  5. Kidney Damage: Prolonged use of water pills or diuretics could place a lot of pressure on the kidney leading to kidney damage as a long-term consequence of the drug.
  6. Muscular symptoms: Hypokalemia due to prolonged diuretic intake could lead to muscular These are often experienced by athletes after prolonged diet, calorie restriction, and excessive diuretics intake. These muscular cramps can be prevented and treated by intake of drinks rich in electrolytes.
  7. Allergic Reaction: our body responds differently to various types of drugs. Due to the diuretic overload, Some people could experience allergic reactions to some of the components of the water

Over the counter water pills has become the latest trend in fitness and modeling industry for rapid weight loss. Despite the magical benefits boasted by this water pill, there are a lot of side effects and long-term effects of prolonged intake of water pills. The best way to lose weight is the combination of a healthy diet and good training regimen. Consistency and discipline is the major factor that determines the timeframe of your desired result. Put your health on your looks.


Doctoroz.com. (2018). Dr. Oz’s Water Pill Safety Guide. [online] Available at: http://www.doctoroz.com/article/dr-oz-s-water-pill-safety-guide [Accessed 4 Jan. 2018].

Emaxhealth.com. (2018). Side Effects of Water Pills Before You Take Them For Weight Loss | EmaxHealth. [online] Available at: https://www.emaxhealth.com/8782/what-you-need-know-about-water-pills-weight-loss [Accessed 4 Jan. 2018].

Healthline. (2018). Diuretics: Types, Use, Side Effects, and More. [online] Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/diuretics#types [Accessed 4 Jan. 2018].