torsemide

Medically Reviewed on 5/20/2022

Generic Name: torsemide

Brand and Other Names: Soaanz, Demadex (discontinued), torasemide

Drug Class: Diuretics, Loop

What is torsemide, and what is it used for?

Torsemide is a medication used to reduce fluid retention and swelling (edema) associated with conditions such as heart failure, kidney disease, and liver disease (cirrhosis). Torsemide is also used to manage high blood pressure (hypertension), however, it is not recommended for the initial treatment of hypertension.

Torsemide is a type of diuretic medication that reduces fluid collection in the body by increasing urine output. Torsemide inhibits the reabsorption of water and sodium in the kidneys, increasing their excretion in the urine. Torsemide also increases the urinary excretion of other minerals including chloride, magnesium, calcium, and potassium.

Torsemide works by interfering with the reabsorption process in the thick ascending portion of the loop of Henle. Kidneys are made up of filtering units known as nephrons, and the loop of Henle is a U-shaped part of the nephron that is responsible for fluid reabsorption.

Warnings

  • Do not use torsemide in the following conditions:
    • Known hypersensitivity to torsemide or any of its components
    • Absence of urine production (anuria)
    • Coma due to liver disease (hepatic coma)
  • Excessive fluid loss from diuresis can lead to dehydration, reduced blood volume (hypovolemia), low blood pressure (hypertension), and impairment of kidney function. Monitor the patient’s volume status and kidney function regularly while on torsemide therapy.
  • Risk of kidney failure from torsemide use is higher in:
    • Salt-depleted patients
    • Patients on hypertension medications (renin-angiotensin aldosterone inhibitors)
    • Simultaneous use of other drugs that are toxic to the kidneys
  • Torsemide may decrease electrolyte levels and increase uric acid and glucose levels in the blood. Monitor serum electrolyte, uric acid, and glucose levels regularly. 
  • Use with caution in patients with diabetes mellitus. Torsemide use may further increase glucose levels.
  • Use with caution in patients with electrolyte imbalances. Torsemide may worsen the condition.
  • Use with caution in patients with liver cirrhosis and associated abdominal fluid collection (ascites). Electrolyte and acid/base imbalances may lead to brain damage (hepatic encephalopathy).
  • Torsemide may be toxic to the ear (ototoxic). The risk increases with:
    • Higher than recommended doses
    • Severe kidney impairment
    • Low protein levels in blood (hypoproteinemia)

What are the side effects of torsemide?

Common side effects of torsemide include:

Less common side effects of torsemide include

This is not a complete list of all side effects or adverse reactions that may occur from the use of this drug. Call your doctor for medical advice about serious side effects or adverse reactions. You may also report side effects or health problems to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

QUESTION

The only purpose of the kidneys is to filter blood. See Answer

What are the dosages of torsemide?

Tablet

  • 5mg (generic)
  • 10mg (generic)
  • 20mg (Soaanz, generic)
  • 60mg (Soaanz, generic)
  • 100mg

Adult:

Edema

Indicated for treatment of edema associated with heart failure or renal disease

  • 10-20 mg orally once a day initially; may increase dose by doubling until desired diuretic effect is achieved
  • Doses over 200 mg have not been adequately studied

Hepatic Cirrhosis

Indicated for treatment of edema associated with hepatic disease

  • 5-10 mg orally once a day initially with aldosterone antagonist or potassium-sparing diuretic; may increase dose by doubling until desired diuretic effect achieved
  • Doses over 40 mg have not been adequately studied

Hypertension

  • 2.5-5 mg/day orally initially; increased to 10 mg/day orally in 4-6 weeks as needed
  • Consider adding another antihypertensive agent if 10-mg dose is insufficient

Dosage Modifications

Renal impairment

  • No dosage adjustments provided in prescribing information
  • Higher doses may be required to achieve diuretic effect

Hepatic impairment

  • No dosage adjustments provided in prescribing information
  • Use with caution
  • Contraindicated in hepatic coma

Dosing Considerations

  • Use for fluid retention refractory to thiazides or with impaired renal function

Overdose management

  • Normal saline may be used for volume replacement
  • Dopamine or norepinephrine may be used to treat hypotension
  • If dysrhythmia due to decreased potassium or magnesium is suspected, replace aggressively
  • Discontinue treatment if no symptoms are apparent after 6 hours

Pediatric:

  • Safety and efficacy not established

Overdose

  • Overdose of torsemide can cause excessive fluid and mineral loss, resulting in
    • dehydration,
    • hypovolemia,
    • blood thickening (hemoconcentration),
    • hypotension, and decrease in electrolyte levels.
  • Overdose of torsemide is treated with intravenous fluids and electrolyte replacement.

What drugs interact with torsemide?

Inform your doctor of all medications you are currently taking, who can advise you on any possible drug interactions. Never begin taking, suddenly discontinue, or change the dosage of any medication without your doctor’s recommendation.

  • Torsemide has no known severe interactions with other drugs.
  • Serious interactions of torsemide include:
    • amikacin
    • gentamicin
    • ivosidenib
    • lofexidine
    • neomycin PO
    • paromomycin
    • squill
    • streptomycin
    • tobramycin
  • Torsemide has moderate interactions with at least 155 different drugs.
  • Torsemide has mild interactions with at least 71 different drugs.

The drug interactions listed above are not all of the possible interactions or adverse effects. For more information on drug interactions, visit the RxList Drug Interaction Checker.

It is important to always tell your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider of all prescription and over-the-counter medications you use, as well as the dosage for each, and keep a list of the information. Check with your doctor or health care provider if you have any questions about the medication.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

What else should I know about torsemide?

  • Take torsemide exactly as prescribed.
  • Store torsemide safely out of reach of children.
  • In case of overdose, increase fluid and electrolyte intake and seek medical help.
  • Consult with your physician before taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) while on torsemide therapy.
  • You may feel lightheaded, especially in the initial days of torsemide therapy. Report to your physician if there is lightheadedness, and in case fainting occurs, discontinue torsemide and consult your physician.
  • Drink adequate fluids while on torsemide. Low fluid intake, excessive sweating, vomiting, or diarrhea can all lead to lightheadedness and fainting. Seek medical help if required.

Summary

Torsemide is a medication used to reduce fluid retention and swelling (edema) associated with conditions such as heart failure, kidney disease, and liver disease (cirrhosis). Torsemide is also used to manage high blood pressure (hypertension), but not for the initial treatment of hypertension. Common side effects of torsemide include excessive urination (polyuria), electrolyte imbalances, headache, dizziness, nasal inflammation (rhinitis), cough, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, indigestion (dyspepsia), nervousness, and insomnia. Consult your doctor if pregnant or breastfeeding.

Treatment & Diagnosis

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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Medically Reviewed on 5/20/2022
References
https://www.rxlist.com/consumer_torsemide_demadex/drugs-condition.htm

https://reference.medscape.com/drug/soaanz-torsemide-342424#0

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/torsemide-torasemide-drug-information#F229431

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2021/213218s000lbl.pdf