Hyperkalemia (increase in potassium in the blood), a serious event, may be seen with the administration of potassium-sparing diuretics. Hyperkalemia is most likely to occur in patients with an inadequate fluid intake and urine output, those with diabetes or renal disease, the elderly, and those who are severely ill. In patients taking spironolactone, gynecomastia (breast enlargement in the male) may occur. This reaction appears to be related to both dosage and duration of therapy. The gynecomastia is usually reversible when therapy is discontinued, but in rare instances, some breast enlargement may remain.
Additional adverse reactions of these drugs are listed in the Summary Drug Table: Diuretics. When a potassium-sparing diuretic and a thiazide diuretic are given together, the adverse reactions associated with both drugs may be seen.
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