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An aquaretic is a class of drug that is used to promote aquaresis, the excretion of water without electrolyte loss.[1] Aquaretics are not strictly speaking diuretics, but are sometimes classified as such.

Aquaresis is preferable to diuresis in the treatment of hyponatremia.


Aquaretics increase urine output without increasing sodium and chloride excretion, thus causing an increase in urine whilst retaining electrolytes.[2]


A number of herbal medicines are classified as aquaretics, for example common horsetail or common nettle leaves.[3]

Synthetic aquaretics are vasopressin receptor antagonists, such conivaptan, tolvaptan, demeclocycline and OPC-31260, as well as lithium. These have been used in clinical trials as a treatment for syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (SIADH).[4][5]


  1. ^ Nicholas H. Fiebach; Lee Randol Barker (2007). Principles of Ambulatory Medicine. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 1390. ISBN 0-7817-6227-8. 
  2. ^ George M. Brenner; Craig W. Stevens (2013). Phamacology. Elsevier Inc. pp. 120–129. ISBN 978-1455702824. 
  3. ^ Lucinda G. Miller; Wallace J. Murray (1998). Herbal Medicinals: A Clinician's Guide. Haworth Press. p. 147. ISBN 0-7890-0466-6. 
  4. ^ Toshikazu Saito; San-e Ishikawa; Keishi Abe; Kyuzi Kamoi; Kenichi Yamada; Kurakazu Shimizu; Takao Saruta; Sho Yoshida (April 1997). "Acute Aquaresis by the Nonpeptide Arginine Vasopressin (AVP) Antagonist OPC-31260 Improves Hyponatremia in Patients with Syndrome of Inappropriate Secretion of Antidiuretic Hormone (SIADH)". The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. The Endocrine Society. 82 (4): 1054–1057. PMID 9100572. doi:10.1210/jcem.82.4.3900. 
  5. ^ D. A. Warrell; Timothy M. Cox; John D. Firth (2003). Oxford Textbook of Medicine. Oxford University Press. pp. 211–212. ISBN 0-19-856978-5.