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- What is furosemide, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- Is furosemide available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for this drug?
- Lasix side effects and adverse effects
- What is the dosage for furosemide?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with furosemide?
- Is this drug safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about this medicine?
What is furosemide, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Furosemide is a potent diuretic (water pill) that is used to eliminate water and salt from the body. In the kidneys, salt (composed of sodium and chloride), water, and other small molecules normally are filtered out of the blood and into the tubules of the kidney. The filtered fluid ultimately becomes urine. Most of the sodium, chloride and water that is filtered out of the blood is reabsorbed into the blood before the filtered fluid becomes urine and is eliminated from the body. Furosemide works by blocking the absorption of sodium, chloride, and water from the filtered fluid in the kidney tubules, causing a profound increase in the output of urine (diuresis). The onset of action after oral administration is within one hour, and the diuresis lasts about 6-8 hours. The onset of action after injection is five minutes and the duration of diuresis is two hours. The diuretic effect of furosemide can cause depletion of sodium, chloride, body water and other minerals. Therefore, careful medical supervision is necessary during treatment. The FDA approved furosemide in July 1982.
Lasix side effects and adverse effects
Common side effects of furosemide are:
Other important side effects include:
- ringing in the ears (tinnitus),
- sensitivity to light (photophobia),
- abdominal pain, and
Increased blood sugar and uric acid levels also may occur.
What is the dosage for furosemide?
The usual starting oral dose for treatment of edema in adults is 20-80 mg as a single dose. The same dose or an increased dose may be administered 6-8 hours later. Doses may be increased 20-40 mg every 6-8 hours until the desired effect occurs. The effective dose may be administered once or twice daily. Some patients may require 600 mg daily.
The starting oral dose for children is 2 mg/kg. The starting dose may be increased by 1-2 mg/kg every 6 hours until the desired effect is achieved. Doses greater than 6 mg/kg are not recommended.
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Which drugs or supplements interact with furosemide?
Administration of furosemide with aminoglycoside antibiotics (for example, gentamicin) or ethacrynic acid (Edecrin, another diuretic) may cause hearing damage. Furosemide competes with aspirin for elimination in the urine by the kidneys. Concomitant use of furosemide and aspirin may, therefore, lead to high blood levels of aspirin and aspirin toxicity. Furosemide also may reduce excretion of lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid) by the kidneys, causing increased blood levels of lithium and possible side effects from lithium. Sucralfate (Carafate) reduces the action of furosemide by binding furosemide in the intestine and preventing its absorption into the body. Ingestion of furosemide and sucralfate should be separated by two hours.
Is this drug safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
What else should I know about this medicine?
What preparations of furosemide are available?
Tablets: 20, 40 and 80 mg. Oral solution: 10 mg/ml and 8 mg/ml. Injection: 10 mg/ml
How should I keep furosemide stored?
Furosemide should be stored at room temperature in a light resistant container.
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information
Lasix is the brand name for the generic drug furosemide. Lasix is a diuretic medicine that doctors prescribe to treat excess accumulation of fluid or swelling of the body (edema) caused by:
- Chronic kidney failure
- Heart failure
- Nephrotic syndrome.
Doctors also prescribe Lasix in conjunction with other high blood pressure pills
to patients to treat high blood pressure (hypertension).
Profound diuresis with water and electrolyte depletion can occur if Lasix drug is given in excess amounts. Other side effects and adverse effects of this medicine include:
- Gut (gastrointestinal or GI) reactions like pancreatitis, jaundice, anorexia, cramping, diarrhea, constipation , nausea, and vomiting.
- Systemic hypersensitivity reactions like severe anaphylactic shock, necrotizing angiitis, and interstitial nephritis.
- CNS (central nervous system) reactions like vertigo, headaches, blurred vision, tinnitus, and hearing loss.
- Blood reactions like anemia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, and eosinophilia.
- Hypersensitive skin reactions like rash, itching, hives, photosensitivity, exfoliative dermatitis, and Steven-Johnson syndrome.
- Heart reactions like orthostatic hypotension (fainting or dizziness when standing up) and an increase in triglyceride and cholesterol levels
Other reactions include weakness, muscle spasms, thrombophlebitis, fever, and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). Furosemide is available as tablets of 20 mg to 80 mg, and IV form. Your doctor will determine your dosage based on your medical condition. This medication interacts with certain with drugs like cisplatin (Platinol-AQ)), cyclosporine, lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid), methotrexate (Rheumtrex, Trexall), phenytoin, antibiotics, heart and blood pressure medications, laxatives, steroids, and salicylates like aspirin. Tell your doctor or other health care professional about any vitamins or supplements you are taking. Researchers don't know if Lasix harms the fetus so talk with your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant. This drug can be passed on to your newborn while breastfeeding and may harm your baby. It also may slow breast milk production so talk with your doctor before breastfeeding.
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Top furosemide Related ArticlesComplete List
AscitesAscites, the accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity is most commonly caused by cirrhosis of the liver. Some of the other causes of ascites include portal hypertension, congestive heart failure, blood clots, and pancreatitis. The most common symptoms include increased abdominal girth and size, abdominal bloating, and abdominal pain. Treatment depends on the cause of ascites.
CirrhosisCirrhosis of the liver refers to a disease in which normal liver cells are replaced by scar tissue caused by alcohol and viral hepatitis B and C. This disease leads to abnormalities in the liver's ability to handle toxins and blood flow, causing:
- internal bleeding,
- kidney failure,
- mental confusion,
- body fluid accumulation, and
- frequent infections.
Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) OverviewCongestive heart failure (CHF) refers to a condition in which the heart loses the ability to function properly. Heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, myocarditis, and cardiomyopathies are just a few potential causes of congestive heart failure. Signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure may include fatigue, breathlessness, palpitations, angina, and edema. Physical examination, patient history, blood tests, and imaging tests are used to diagnose congestive heart failure. Treatment of heart failure consists of lifestyle modification and taking medications to decrease fluid in the body and ease the strain on the heart. The prognosis of a patient with congestive heart failure depends on the stage of the heart failure and the overall condition of the individual.
Edema is the swelling of tissues as a result of excess water accumulation. Peripheral edema occurs in the feet and legs. There are two types of edema, non-pitting edema and pitting edema. Causes of pitting edema is caused by systemic diseases (most commonly involving the heart, liver, and kidneys), and medications. Local conditions that cause edema are thrombophlebitis and varicose veins. Edema or swelling of the legs, feet, ankles, and face are common during pregnancy. Idiopathic edema is edema in which the cause is not known. Pitting edema is scored on pitting edema measurement scales. Edema is generally treated with medication.
Heart failure (congestive) is caused by many conditions including coronary artery disease, heart attack, cardiomyopathy, and conditions that overwork the heart. Symptoms of heart failure include
- congested lungs,
- fluid and water retention,
- fatigue and weakness, and
- rapid or irregular heartbeats.
There are two types of congestive heart failure, systolic or left-sided heart failure; and diastolic or right-sided heart failure. Treatment, prognosis, and life-expectancy for a person with congestive heart failure depends upon the stage of the disease.
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Kidney Disease QuizKidney disease is common. Take this kidney disease quiz to test your knowledge and learn the symptoms, causes and types of kidney disease and what foods to eat and avoid!
Kidney FailureKidney failure can occur from an acute event or a chronic condition or disease. Prerenal kidney failure is caused by blood loss, dehydration, or medication. Some of the renal causes of kidney failure are:
- multiple myeloma, and
- acute glomerulonephritis.
- bladder obstruction,
- prostate problems,
- tumors, or
- kidney stones.
Low Potassium (Hypokalemia)Potassium is an essential electrolyte necessary for cell function. Low potassium (hypokalemia) may be caused by diarrhea, vomiting, ileostomy, colon polyps, laxative use, diuretics, elevated corticosteroid levels, renal artery stenosis, and renal tubular acidosis, or other medications. Symptoms of low potassium include weakness, aches, and cramps of the muscles. Treatment is dependant upon the cause of the low potassium (hypokalemia).
ParathyroidectomyParathyroidectomy is the removal of one or more of the parathyroid glands to treat hyperparathyroidism. Risks of parathyroidectomy include:
- paralysis of the vocal cords,
- difficulty swallowing thin liquids,
- difficulty breathing,
- and drug reactions.
- damage to the recurrent laryngeal nerve,
- bleeding or hematoma,
- problems maintaining calcium levels in the blood,
- need for further and more aggressive surgery,
- need for a limited or total thyroidectomy,
- prolonged pain,
- impaired healing,
- and recurrence of the tumor.
Pulmonary EdemaPulmonary edema (swelling or fluid in the lungs) can either be caused by cardiogenic causes (congestive heart failure, heart attacks, abnormal heart valves) or noncardiogenic causes such as:
- kidney failure,
- high altitude,
- pleural effusion,
- aspirin overdose,
- pulmonary embolism, and