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Severe diuretic induced hyponatremia and hypokalemia in the elderly

Severe diuretic induced hyponatremia and hypokalemia in the elderly

Harefuah 106(11): 500-502, 539-540

Patients (15, aged 65-89 yr) were hospitalized because of severe diuretic-induced hyponatremia and hypokalemia. This appeared either after a few days of treatment or following an episode of diarrhea or vomiting in patients on long-term treatment. The cause for the relatively high frequency of this phenomenon in elderly patients is not clear. It may be due to partial failure of the homeostatic mechanisms which decrease natriuresis in the proximal tubules, while diuretic-induced Na loss in the distal tubules is effective. Diuretics should be started cautiously in elderly patients and blood levels of electrolytes should be monitored closely at the beginning of therapy or whenever additional factors contributing to hyponatremia appear.

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Accession: 006405064

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PMID: 6479704

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