Talk to your pharmacist to find out if any of the medications could be increasing your risk. Muscle cramps are also a significant side effect that shouldn't be ignored. If your potassium level is deficient, you can experience not only cramps but also muscle weakness and fatigue, according to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. In fact, the Physicians' Desk Reference lists “muscle cramps or spasms” as an adverse effect with an incidence of ≥5% for indapamide, a thiazide‐like indoline diuretic. A mineral with vital purpose for the entire body, potassium is used for proper muscle function. Medication Use and Functional Status Decline in Older Adults: A Narrative Review. Spirolactone is a potassium sparing diuretic. 64. How they can cause leg cramps: Like short-acting loop diuretics (see above), thiazide diuretics can deplete key electrolytes, causing leg cramps and other serious muscle problems. Rest A muscle cramp (charley horse) is a sudden, brief, involuntary, painful contraction of a muscle or group of muscles. Personalizing the Diuretic Treatment of Hypertension: the Need for More Clinical and Research Attention. Their etiology is varied; most commonly, these cramps are idiopathic. Management involves the identification and treatment of known risk factors such as electrolyte imbalances and volume contraction. Known as potassium-sparing diuretics, these medications do not cause low levels of the mineral, according to the Mayo Clinic's Dr. Sheldon G. Sheps. Hypokalemia. ; July 2009. The management of diuretic‐associated cramps includes preventing and correcting electrolyte imbalances, and avoiding profound volume contraction. If your feet are cramping, it’s possible that your shoes could be too tight. Research about the benefits of apple cider vinegar for positive general health is … Dr. Bennett Werner answered. This study aimed to determine whether muscle cramps are a diuretic-induced complication and whether ascites was a factor related to muscle cramp. The spasm may last only a few seconds or up to 15 minutes. Drinking alcohol acts like a diuretic. Delevett AF, Recalde M "Diuretic-induced renal colic." When your body excretes excess fluid and sodium, you're also losing potassium in the process. Muscle Cramps in Old Adults: Clinical Features and Pathophysiology. Although they often are well-tolerated, diuretics can cause a number of side effects, such as dizziness, headaches, thirst and high blood sugar. Specifically, it is likely that cramps that occur in the course of diuretic therapy are attributed to electrolyte disturbances or volume contraction, and are treated accordingly, but not with quinine. and you may need to create a new Wiley Online Library account. Background: Administration of diuretics and the presence of ascites in patients with cirrhosis were reported to be associated with muscle cramps; however, the clinical evidence is limited. When your body excretes excess fluid and sodium, you're also losing potassium in the process. 62. Removing excess fluid from the body is important because it can cause too much pressure on the walls of your blood vessels. Hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia, and hypocalcemia can also prolong the QT interval. Having a low potassium level can have serious health consequences. Thus volume contraction appears to be the one mechanism that is common to all classes of diuretics. Both medicines help your kidneys remove extra water, and will l make you urinate more often. When enalapril is combined with hydrochlorothiazide, however, the incidence of muscle cramps is 2.7%. Previously working for the North Carolina Community College System, Rachel Morgan has been a freelance writer and editor for over six years. Muscle cramps typically start in the leg—often in the calf muscles … Muscle cramps are independent of diuretic use and correlate with severity of liver disease. How To Stop Muscle Cramps. Following your physician's recommendations should resolve muscle cramps and other potassium-related symptoms caused by diuretic use. Kamel KS, Halperin ML. They are spawned by an involuntary contraction of a muscle that will not relax. This study aimed to determine whether muscle cramps are a diuretic-induced complication and whether ascites was a factor related to muscle cramp. Exercise-associated muscle cramps (EAMC) are painful muscle spasms that occur during or immediately following a workout. Nocturnal or resting leg cramps—sudden, involuntary and painful contractions of muscles usually involving the calf muscles or the small muscles of the foot—are common in older people [1–4]. Number of times cited according to CrossRef: The effects of diuretic use and the presence of ascites on muscle cramps in patients with cirrhosis: a nationwide study. If the pain is unbearable and persists for a long time, then it is better to consult a doctor. The mechanism of diuretic‐associated cramping (if such an entity truly exists) is likely related to hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia, or volume contraction (with or without metabolic alkalosis). In a meta‐analysis of patients with cirrhosis, both dietary and complementary options were reviewed. Hypocalcemia is a possible cause during therapy with loop‐diuretics such as furosemide, but is unlikely with the hypocalciuric thiazide‐type diuretics. If your potassium level is deficient, you can experience not only cramps but also muscle weakness and fatigue… The American Journal of Geriatric Pharmacotherapy. can any docs explain? National Organization for Rare Disorders. 2017:393-432. doi:10.1016/b978-0-323-35515-5.00014-2. In fact, the Physicians’ Desk Reference lists “muscle cramps or spasms” as an adverse effect with an incidence of ≥5% for indapamide, a thiazide-like indoline diuretic. 63. Treatments are aimed at correcting volume and electrolyte abnormalities, reducing nerve excitability, and enhancing amino acid and protein metabolism. III. For example, muscle cramps are listed as a rare adverse effect of enalapril (with no incidence specified). The pain is localized at the site of the muscle. I've taken Lasix for years and my potassium levels have been in the normal range when tested and when i get any type of muscle cramps i take a little bit of salt from the salt shaker and dissolve it in my mouth. Grunwald MH, Halevy S, Livni E "Allergic vasculitis induced by hydrochlorothiazide: confirmation by mast cell degranulation test." Harvard Health Publishing. The full text of this article hosted at iucr.org is unavailable due to technical difficulties. Muscle Cramps and Diuretic Therapy Muscle Cramps and Diuretic Therapy Mosenkis, Ari; Townsend, Raymond R. 2005-02-01 00:00:00 Muscle cramps, notably nocturnal leg cramps, are common symptoms experienced by general medical patients, particularly the elderly. Journal of the Korean Geriatrics Society. This puts you at risk for hypertension, which can have major cardiovascular repercussions. JAMA 225 (1973): 992. The most important sign is intense pain caused by the extreme tightening of the muscle. Diuretics work by helping your body excrete excess fluid and sodium. Yes and no: Rapid diuresis can cause muscle cramps but will not affect iron or iron saturation. P T. 2015;40(3):185–190. 43 years experience Cardiology. The longer the cramp lasts the more likely the muscle will be sore for a prolonged p… Your doctor can show you stretching exercises that can help you reduce your chances of getting muscle cramps. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol 33 (1995): 729-33. You can usually treat muscle cramps with self-care measures. Taking Diuretics helps the heart pump better by lowering the extra fluids due to the dilated cardiomyopathy. ; Sheldon G. Sheps, M.D. There always is the sensation of a tense or tight muscle that feels very hard compared to other relaxed muscles. Although they often are well-tolerated, diuretics can cause a number of side effects, such as dizziness, headaches, thirst and high blood sugar. muscle cramps can also occur as a side effect of some drugs. Potassium is one electrolyte that has to be continuously replaced. Diuretics are very important. Copyright © 2020 Leaf Group Ltd., all rights reserved. Veltri KT, Mason C. Medication-induced hypokalemia. Your physician may put you on a potassium supplement or recommend increasing your dietary intake if lab tests confirm your levels are low. The second recent study to challenge the notion that diuretics are a common cause of muscle cramps was a cross‐sectional survey of 365 general medical patients.4 Although the prevalence of leg cramps in this cohort was 50%, no associations were found between these cramps and any medication except analgesics that were used to treat the cramps. Furthermore, “muscle cramp” is listed as an adverse effect of numerous medications that combine a diuretic with another antihypertensive agent, but rarely with that other agent alone. About one-third of the U.S. population age 20 and older has hypertension, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cramps commonly occur in healthy people (usually middle-aged and elderly people), sometimes during rest, but particularly during or after exercise or at night (including during sleep). If you've ever been awakened in the night or stopped in your tracks by a sudden charley horse, you know that muscle cramps can cause severe pain. Fluid, Electrolyte and Acid-Base Physiology. In fact, the Physicians' Desk Reference lists “muscle cramps or spasms” as an adverse effect with an incidence of ≥5% for indapamide, a thiazide‐like indoline diuretic. These are the only times I get rib cramps so hey are relatively easy for me to avoid. Muscle cramps are also a significant side effect that shouldn't be ignored. Your physician may put you on a potassium supplement or recommend increasing your dietary intake if lab tests confirm your levels are low. These medications, also known as water pills, can cause a number of side effects, including muscle cramps. // Leaf Group Lifestyle, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Hypertension, Linus Pauling Institute; Potassium; February 2004, University of Maryland Medical Center: Potassium, MayoClinic.com; Diuretics: A Cause of Low Potassium? In addition to getting rid of extra salt in your body, diuretic medications also affect levels of potassium. Enter your email address below and we will send you your username, If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username, I have read and accept the Wiley Online Library Terms and Conditions of Use, Clinical epidemiology of nocturnal leg cramps in male veterans, Prevalence and characteristics of muscle cramps in patients with varicose veins, Leg cramps in the elderly: prevalence, drug and disease associations, Meta‐analysis of efficacy of quinine for treatment of nocturnal leg cramps in elderly people. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. A muscle cramp is a sudden and involuntary contraction of one or more of your muscles. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional survey in 132 subjects with chronic liver disease: cirrhotics (n = 92) and subjects with chronic hepatitis (n = 40). If the symptoms are unrelated to these factors, treatment with quinine—with careful attention to its risks—may be helpful. 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