Common brand name: Lasix
Why is furosemide prescribed?
- Furosemide, a diuretic or “water pill,” causes the kidneys to eliminate unneeded water and salt from the body into the urine.
- Some of the immunosuppressive medications you are prescribed may cause you to retain water.
- Furosemide also is used to treat high blood pressure, and the swelling and water retention caused by various medical problems, including heart disease.
When should furosemide be used?
- Furosemide is usually taken once or twice a day.
- Follow the instructions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your pharmacist or doctor to explain any part that you do not understand.
- If you are to take furosemide once a day, take it in the morning.
- Take a second dose, if prescribed, in the late afternoon to avoid going to the bathroom during the night.
- Furosemide begins to work about 30 minutes after it is taken and goes on working for six to eight hours.
How should it be used?
- Furosemide comes in tablets and as an oral liquid.
- Your prescription label tells you how much to take at each dose.
- If you are taking two doses a day, take the last dose in the early evening (between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m.) to help avoid the need to use the bathroom during the night.
- Furosemide must be taken regularly, especially to control high blood pressure.
- You may obtain a specially marked spoon from your pharmacist to measure an accurate dose of the liquid.
- Ask your pharmacist any questions you may have about refilling your prescription.
What special instructions should I follow while using this drug?
- Before taking furosemide, tell you doctor:
- If you ever had a bad reaction to furosemide or a sulfa drug
- If you have diabetes, gout, or kidney or liver problems
- What medications you are currently taking, especially diabetes medications, aspirin, indomethacin, lithium and steroids (Also inform your pharmacist.) Some drugs may affect the way furosemide works or increase its side effects.
- Before having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist you are taking this medication.
- Follow your doctor's dietary recommendations. These recommendations may include a low-sodium or low-salt diet, a daily exercise program, potassium supplements and high-potassium foods (such as bananas, raisins, dates and all fruit juices).
- Weigh yourself every day, at the same time and when wearing similar clothes. If you lose or gain weight rapidly (three pounds or more in one day), contact the Transplant Center immediately.
- Do not let a diuretic be a substitute for fluid control. Many times, cutting back on your fluid intake as well as decreasing salt in your diet may reduce the need for a diuretic.
- Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory so your response to the drug can be monitored. Your blood pressure should be checked regularly, and blood tests may be done occasionally.
- Do not stop taking furosemide, even if you feel well, without consulting your doctor.
- Be sure you always have enough of this medication on hand. Check your supply before vacations, holidays and other occasions when you may have difficulty refilling your prescription.
What should I do if I forget to take a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember, unless it is time for your next dose. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose.
This information is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.
What side effects can this drug cause? What can I do about them?
Although side effects from furosemide are not common, these can occur:
- Frequent urination—This problem may last for up to 12 hours after a dose.
- Muscle cramps or weakness, excess thirst—Be sure that you are taking your potassium supplement correctly, if prescribed. Contact your doctor if these symptoms persist.
- Dizziness, lightheadedness—Try rising more slowly when getting up from a lying or sitting position.
Blurred vision, confusion, headache, increased perspiration, restlessness—If these effects persist or are severe, contact your doctor.
- Fever, sore throat, ringing in the ears, unusual bleeding or bruising, rapid and excessive weight loss, swollen feet or legs, or shortness of breath—Contact your doctor immediately.
- Skin rash—Stop taking the medication and contact your doctor immediately.
What storage conditions are necessary for this drug?
- Keep furosemide in its original container.
- Store it away from direct sunlight.
- Keep furosemide out of the reach of children.
- Store liquid furosemide in the refrigerator.
- Store tablets at room temperature.
For More Information
If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at 216.444.8282. We will be happy to answer your questions.