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May 10, 1965

Mercurial Diuretics and Edema

Author Affiliations

From the Medical Clinics, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston.

JAMA. 1965;192(6):468-470. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080190034009

Diuretic therapy has become a most crucial bulwark in the care and comfort of the patient with edema, and particularly in patients in congestive failure. Proper and effective use has resulted in fewer visits to the physician and in less frequent and shorter periods of hospitalization. Therefore, it seems useful to review certain practical aspects which improve the efficacy of any diuretic program. This report is primarily concerned with the use of organic mercurials because introduction of many new oral diuretics has drawn attention away from those details which make mercurials repeatedly and safely effective; and mercurials rank second only to ethacrynic acid in potency. In so doing, it is hoped that the notion that "refractoriness" to mercurial diuresis frequently occurs, may in part be dispelled.

Mercurial Diuretics  Organic mercury compounds are believed to inhibit the renal mechanism for reabsorption of chloride anion in the distal tubule and thereby encourage