Diuretics, Urinary elimination of elements
The term diuretics initially indicated the drugs which increased the diuresis, i.e. the quantity of urine eliminated by the kidney. The drugs currently called diuretics increase primarily the urinary elimination of sodium which can be accompanied by an increase - more or less important- of water .
The pharmacological effect of diuretics often sought for is the decrease of the peripheral vascular resistance through sodium depletion. The main therapeutic uses of diuretics are the treatment of arterial hypertension and of congestive heart failure.