Amiloride has a weak effect when given on its own and so is usually be prescribed alongside furosemide. Amiloride reduces the amount of potassium being lost in the urine so is called a potassium sparing diuretic.
Body salt levels (sodium and potassium) can be affected if a person takes diuretics long term, so blood tests may be taken to check levels as required.
How is it given?
Amiloride is available as an oral solution of 50mg in 5 mls or as 5 mg tablets. If your child is taking the oral solution, you should use an oral syringe to draw up the correct dose. These instructions will be on the medicine label.
Tablets are available for older children and teenagers, which are usually taken once or twice a day. They will make your child pass more urine, so older children may prefer to take amiloride a few hours before bedtime to prevent having to get up to use the toilet in the night. The dose of amiloride is calculated on your child’s weight so the dose will increase as they grow.
Who should not take amiloride (contraindications)?
People with the following conditions should discuss taking amiloride with their doctor
- Pregnant, could be pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breast-feeding
- Kidney problems
- Taking medications containing potassium
What are the side effects?
Side effects are uncommon, but amiloride can cause:
- feeling sick
- skin rashes
- dry mouth
Amiloride and other medicines
Some medicines can interact with amiloride. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving your child any other medicines, including herbal or complementary medicines. The following medicines are known to interact with amiloride
- ACE inhibitors
- Potassium supplements
Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist before giving them to your child.
- Keep medicines in a safe place where children cannot reach them.
- Keep medicines in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight and away from heat.
- If your doctor decides to stop treatment with amiloride, return any unused medicine to the pharmacist. Do not flush down the toilet or throw it away.
- If you forget to give your child a dose, give it as soon as you remember. Do not give a double dose.
- If your child vomits after taking the medicine, do not give a double dose.
- Your family doctor (GP) will need to give you a repeat prescription for amiloride. Some medicines will need to be ordered by your community pharmacy (chemist) so arrange this in plenty of time.
Please read this information sheet from GOSH alongside the patient information leaflet (PIL) provided by the manufacturer. If you do not have a copy of the manufacturer’s patient information leaflet please talk to your pharmacist. A few products do not have a marketing authorisation (licence) as a medicine and therefore there is no PIL.
For children in particular, there may be conflicts of information between the manufacturer’s patient information leaflet (PIL) and guidance provided by GOSH and other healthcare providers. For example, some manufacturers may recommend, in the patient information leaflet, that a medicine is not given to children aged under 12 years. In most cases, this is because the manufacturer will recruit adults to clinical trials in the first instance and therefore the initial marketing authorisation (licence) only covers adults and older children.
For new medicines, the manufacturer then has to recruit children and newborns into trials (unless the medicine is not going to be used in children and newborns) and subsequently amend the PIL with the approved information. Older medicines may have been used effectively for many years in children without problems but the manufacturer has not been required to collect data and amend the licence. This does not mean that it is unsafe for children and young people to be prescribed such a medicine ‘off-licence/off-label’. However, if you are concerned about any conflicts of information, please discuss with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.