Amiloride | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More
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Generic Name:

amiloride, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Midamor
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Highlights for amiloride

Oral tablet
1

Amiloride is an oral drug that’s used to treat or prevent low potassium blood levels in people with congestive heart failure or high blood pressure (hypertension). It’s usually taken with other water pills (diuretics) that cause you to lose potassium.

2

The usual adult starting dose is 5 mg taken once per day with food. If your potassium levels are still too low, your doctor may increase your dose to a maximum of 20 mg taken one time per day.

3

Common side effects include headache, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and diarrhea.

4

Amiloride may cause high potassium blood levels (hyperkalemia). This can be fatal.

5

You shouldn’t eat potassium-containing salt substitutes or potassium-rich foods (like bananas) while you’re taking this drug, unless your doctor says it’s OK.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA warning

This drug has a Black Box Warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients to potentially dangerous effects.

High blood potassium warning. Amiloride may cause high potassium levels in your blood (hyperkalemia). This can be fatal. Your risk may be higher if you have kidney problems or diabetes or if you’re elderly. Call your doctor right away if you have any of these signs of high potassium levels:

  • muscle weakness
  • tiredness
  • an abnormal heart rate
  • inability to move parts of your body (paralysis)

Your doctor will check your potassium levels before starting and during treatment to make sure it’s within the normal range. You shouldn’t take this drug if you have high blood potassium.

People with diabetes

If you have diabetes and are taking amiloride, you may be more likely to develop high potassium levels in your blood (hyperkalemia). If your doctor gives you amiloride, they’ll check your potassium levels and kidney function regularly while you take this drug.

People with kidney problems

You shouldn’t use amiloride if you have severe kidney problems. Having kidney issues increases your risk of high potassium levels in your blood. Your doctor will check your kidney function before you start amiloride.

Diet

You shouldn’t eat potassium-containing salt substitutes or potassium-rich foods (like bananas) while you’re taking amiloride, unless your doctor tells you it’s OK and is checking your potassium levels often.

Drug features

Amiloride is a prescription drug. It’s available as an oral tablet.

Amiloride is only available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases they may not be available in all strengths or forms as the brand. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if the generic will work for you.

Amiloride is usually taken as part of a combination therapy with water pills (diuretics) that cause you to lose blood potassium.

Why it's used

Amiloride is used to treat or prevent low potassium blood levels in people with congestive heart failure or high blood pressure (hypertension). It’s usually taken with water pills (diuretics) that cause you to lose potassium.

How it works

Amiloride belongs to a class of drugs called potassium-sparing diuretics. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly.

See Details

How it works

Amiloride belongs to a class of drugs called potassium-sparing diuretics. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They have a similar chemical structure and are often used to treat similar conditions.

Amiloride works by decreasing the amount of potassium that’s removed from your urine by your kidneys.

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amiloride Side Effects

Oral tablet

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with amiloride include:

  • headache

  • nausea

  • vomiting

  • loss of appetite

  • diarrhea

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life-threatening or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • high blood potassium. Symptoms include:

    • muscle weakness
    • tiredness
    • abnormal heart rate (arrhythmia)
    • inability to move parts of your body (paralysis)
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Amiloride does not cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
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amiloride May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Amiloride can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Drugs for high blood pressure, heart disease, or kidney problems
  • angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, such as:
    • benazepril
    • captopril 
    • enalapril
    • fosinopril
    • lisinopril
    • moexipril
    • perindopril
    • quinapril
    • ramipril
    • trandolapril
  • angiotensin II receptor antagonists (ARB), such as:
    • candesartan
    • eprosartan
    • irbesartan
    • losartan
    • olmesartan
    • telmisartan
    • valsartan
    • azilsartan
  • potassium-sparing water pills (diuretics), such as:
    • spironolactone
    • triamterene

Taking these drugs with amiloride may increase your risk for high potassium levels in your blood.

Potassium supplements
  • potassium chloride
  • potassium gluconate
  • potassium bicarbonate
  • potassium bicarbonate and citric acid

Taking these drugs with amiloride may increase your risk for high potassium levels in your blood.

Indomethacin

Taking this drug with amiloride may increase your risk for high potassium levels in your blood.

Organ transplant drugs
  • cyclosporine
  • tacrolimus

Taking these drugs with amiloride may increase your risk for high potassium levels in your blood.

Drugs used to treat certain mental disorders (like bipolar disorder)
  • lithium 

Amiloride may increase the blood levels of lithium in your body. This means that you may have more side effects.

Pain medicines

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as:

  • diclofenac
  • etodolac
  • fenoprofen
  • flurbiprofen
  • ibuprofen  
  • ketoprofen 
  • ketorolac 
  • meclofenamate 
  • mefenamic acid
  • nabumetone 
  • naproxen
  • oxaprozin
  • piroxicam
  • sulindac
  • tolmetin

These drugs may decrease the effectiveness of amiloride. This means that it won’t work as well.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Amiloride warnings
diabetes
People with diabetes

People with diabetes may be more likely to develop high blood potassium levels while they’re taking this drug. If your doctor gives you amiloride, he or she will check your potassium levels and kidney function regularly.

kidney problems
People with kidney problems

You shouldn’t use amiloride if you severe have kidney problems. People with kidney problems have a higher risk of high blood potassium (hyperkalemia). Your doctor will check your kidney function before giving you amiloride.

pregnant women
Pregnant women

Amiloride is a pregnancy category B drug. That means two things:

  1. Studies of the drug in pregnant animals have not shown risk to the fetus.
  2. There aren’t enough studies done in pregnant women to show the drug poses a risk to the fetus.

Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Amiloride should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

breastfeeding
Women who are breast-feeding

It isn’t known if amiloride passes into breast milk. If it does, it may cause serious effects in a child who is breast-fed.

You and your doctor may need to decide if you’ll take amiloride or breast-feed.

for seniors
For seniors

As you age, your organs (such as your liver, heart, or kidneys) may not work as well as they did compared to when you were younger. More of this drug may stay in your body longer. This puts you at a greater risk for side effects.

for children
For children

This medicine hasn’t been studied in children and shouldn’t be used in children younger than 18 years.

allergies
Allergies

Amiloride can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • hives

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it before. Taking it a second time after an allergic reaction could be fatal.

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How to Take amiloride (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Low potassium blood levels

Generic: amiloride

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 5 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)
  • starting dose: 5 mg taken by mouth once per day with food
  • dose increases: If your potassium levels are still too low, your doctor may increase your dose to a maximum of 20 mg taken once per day.
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

This medicine hasn’t been studied in children and shouldn’t be used in children younger than 18 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Older adults may process this drug more slowly. A normal adult dose may cause levels of amiloride to be higher than normal in your body. If you’re a senior, you may need a lower dose or a different schedule.

Special considerations

Congestive heart failure: People with heart failure often need water pills to remove extra water and salt from their bodies. Water pills may cause you to lose less potassium. If this happens, your doctor may adjust your amiloride dose.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Amiloride comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you don’t take it at all or if you skip or miss doses

If you don’t take amiloride at all or if you skip or miss doses, your medicine won’t work to treat or prevent low blood potassium levels. You may still have symptoms of low blood potassium including:

  • tiredness
  • weakness
  • constipation
  • muscle cramping
  • an abnormal or irregular heart rate (arrhythmia)

What to do if you miss a dose

If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s just a few hours until the time for your next dose, then wait and only take one dose at that time. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could cause toxic side effects.

If you take too much

If you take too much amiloride, you may have symptoms of high blood potassium levels and dehydration.

  • symptoms of high potassium levels include:
    • muscle weakness
    • tiredness
    • an abnormal heart rate (arrhythmias)
    • inability to move parts of your body (paralysis)
  • symptoms of dehydration include:
    • feeling very thirsty
    • a decrease in the amount you urinate
    • very dry skin
    • dry mouth
    • constipation
    • fever
    • lightheadedness or dizziness
    • fast heartbeat or breathing

If you think that you’ve taken too much amiloride, act right away. Call your doctor or local Poison Control Center, or go to the nearest emergency room.

How to tell if the drug is working

Your doctor will test the potassium levels in your blood to make sure amiloride is working for you.

Amiloride can be a short-term or long-term drug treatment.

Important considerations for taking amiloride
take with food
You should take Amiloride with food
can crush or cut
You can cut or crush the tablet
storage
Amiloride must be stored at the right temperature
See Details
refillable
Prescription is refillable
travel
Travel
See Details
clinical monitoring
Clinical monitoring
See Details
diet considerations
Your diet
See Details
not usually stocked
Not every pharmacy stocks this drug, so call ahead
prior authorization
Insurance
See Details

Amiloride must be stored at the right temperature

  • Store amiloride at room temperature from 68°F (20°C) and 77°F (25°C).
  • Don’t freeze this drug.
  • Keep it away from high temperature.
  • Keep your drugs away from areas where they could get wet, such as bathrooms. Store this drug away from moisture and damp locations.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you, such as in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt this medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff your pharmacy’s label to clearly identifying the medication. Keep the original prescription label with you when traveling.
  • Don’t leave this medicine in the car, especially when the temperature is hot or freezing.

Clinical monitoring

Before starting and during your treatment with amiloride, your doctor will check your:

  • kidney function: Your doctor will check your kidney function before starting and during your treatment with amiloride to make sure this drug is safe for you to take.
  • potassium levels: Your doctor will regularly check the potassium levels in your blood to make sure they’re within the normal range.

Your diet

You shouldn’t eat potassium-containing salt substitutes or potassium-rich foods while taking this drug, unless your doctor tells you it’s OK. Examples of foods high in potassium include:

  • acorn and butternut squash
  • baked potato with skin
  • Brussels sprouts
  • cooked broccoli and spinach
  • collard greens
  • lentils, kidney beans, white navy beans
  • split peas
  • raisins
  • banana
  • orange juice
  • yogurt
  • peanut butter
  • chocolate

Insurance

Most insurance companies will not require a prior authorization before they approve the prescription and pay for amiloride.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.

What does the pill look like?

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How Much Does amiloride Cost?

Oral tablet

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Lowest price for amiloride

Walmart $13.46
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Kroger Pharmacy $20.15
These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for amiloride on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for amiloride on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

Show Sources

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on September 2, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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