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Hypernatremia Medication

  • Author: Ivo Lukitsch, MD; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FACP, FASN  more...
 
Updated: Jul 14, 2016
 

Medication Summary

Some patients with nephrogenic diabetes insipidus—particularly those in whom it is mild or incomplete—may benefit from diuretic therapy (eg, thiazides, loop-diuretics) in an effort to increase proximal tubular reabsorption and decrease delivery to diluting segments where water may be lost. Inhibition of cyclooxygenase by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may attenuate the polyuria in these patients. In addition, any medications that may cause nephrogenic diabetes insipidus (such as lithium) may require discontinuation.

In patients with central diabetes insipidus, desmopressin administered orally or intranasally may be used. Pharmacologic agents can be used in partial central diabetes insipidus to increase circulating AVP. These drugs include chlorpropamide, clofibrate, and carbamazepine.

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Diuretics

Class Summary

These drugs may be used to enhance sodium excretion.

Hydrochlorothiazide (Esidrix, HydroDiuril, Microzide)

 

Inhibits the reabsorption of sodium in the distal tubules, causing increased excretion of sodium and water, as well as of potassium and hydrogen ions.

Furosemide (Lasix)

 

Loop diuretic that increases excretion of water by interfering with chloride-binding cotransport system, which in turn inhibits sodium and chloride reabsorption in ascending loop of Henle and distal renal tubule. Increases renal blood flow without increasing filtration rate. Onset of action generally is within 1-h. Increases potassium, sodium, calcium, and magnesium excretion.

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Vasopressin analogs

Class Summary

These agents may enhance sodium excretion.

Desmopressin (DDAVP)

 

Increases cellular permeability of collecting ducts, resulting in the reabsorption of water by the kidneys.

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Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

Ivo Lukitsch, MD Consulting Staff/Faculty, Department of Nephrology, Ochsner Medical Center

Ivo Lukitsch, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Society of Nephrology, American Society of Transplantation

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Mary L Windle, PharmD Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Eleanor Lederer, MD, FASN Professor of Medicine, Chief, Nephrology Division, Director, Nephrology Training Program, Director, Metabolic Stone Clinic, Kidney Disease Program, University of Louisville School of Medicine; Consulting Staff, Louisville Veterans Affairs Hospital

Eleanor Lederer, MD, FASN is a member of the following medical societies: American Association for the Advancement of Science, International Society of Nephrology, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, American Federation for Medical Research, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, American Society of Nephrology, American Society of Transplantation, Kentucky Medical Association, National Kidney Foundation, Phi Beta Kappa

Disclosure: Received grant/research funds from Dept of Veterans Affairs for research; Received salary from American Society of Nephrology for asn council position; Received salary from University of Louisville for employment; Received salary from University of Louisville Physicians for employment; Received contract payment from American Physician Institute for Advanced Professional Studies, LLC for independent contractor; Received contract payment from Healthcare Quality Strategies, Inc for independent cont.

Chief Editor

Vecihi Batuman, MD, FACP, FASN Huberwald Professor of Medicine, Section of Nephrology-Hypertension, Tulane University School of Medicine; Chief, Renal Section, Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System

Vecihi Batuman, MD, FACP, FASN is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physicians, American Society of Hypertension, American Society of Nephrology, International Society of Nephrology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Anil Kumar Mandal, MD Clinical Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Nephrology, University of Florida College of Medicine

Anil Kumar Mandal, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Clinical Pharmacology, American College of Physicians, American Society of Nephrology, Central Society for Clinical and Translational Research

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Acknowledgements

Trung Q Pham, MD Consulting Staff, Department of Internal Medicine, Kayenta Health Center

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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Figure A: Normal cell. Figure B: Cell initially responds to extracellular hypertonicity through passive osmosis of water extracellularly, resulting in cell shrinkage. Figure C: Cell actively responds to extracellular hypertonicity and cell shrinkage in order to limit water loss through transport of organic osmolytes across the cell membrane, as well as through intracellular production of these osmolytes. Figure D: Rapid correction of extracellular hypertonicity results in passive movement of water molecules into the relatively hypertonic intracellular space, causing cellular swelling, damage, and ultimately death.
Table 1. Characteristics and symptoms of hypernatremia
Characteristics of hypernatremia Symptoms related to the characteristics of hypernatremia
Cognitive dysfunction and symptoms associated with neuronal cell shrinkage Lethargy, obtundation, confusion, abnormal speech, irritability, seizures, nystagmus, myoclonic jerks
Dehydration or clinical signs of volume depletion Orthostatic blood pressure changes, tachycardia, oliguria, dry oral mucosa, abnormal skin turgor, dry axillae,
Other clinical findings Weight loss, generalized weakness
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