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Diuretics enhance the rate of excretion of sodium ions (Na+) and water. They are usually taken in the morning so that diuresis does not intrude upon sleep. Diuretics are divided into groups based on their mechanism and site of action: loop, thiazide, potassium-sparing, osmotic, mercurial and carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (Figure 1). Only the first three types will be discussed here as they are the ones commonly used.