Furosemide (By mouth)

Introduction

Furosemide (fure-OH-se-mide)

Treats fluid retention (edema) and high blood pressure (hypertension). This medicine is a diuretic (water pill).

Brand Name(s)

Lasix

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to furosemide or if you are not able to urinate (anuria).

How to Use This Medicine

Liquid, Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • You may take this medicine with food if it upsets your stomach.
  • Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about any special diet. You may need to eat foods that are high in potassium (such as oranges or bananas) and low in sodium while you are using this medicine.
  • Drink plenty of fluids if you exercise, sweat more than usual, or have diarrhea or vomiting.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using cisplatin (Platinol®), digoxin (Lanoxin®, Digitek®), lithium (Eskalith®, Lithobid®), other medicine for high blood pressure (such as benazepril, candesartan, enalapril, lisinopril, losartan, olmesartan, valsartan, Atacand®, Hyzaar®, Lotrel®, Vasotec®, Zestril®, or Zestoretic®), or another diurectic (water pill, such as aldactone).
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using ethacrynic acid (Edecrin®), cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®), doxazosin (Cardura®), indomethacin (Indocin®), mecamylamine (Inversine®), methotrexate (Folex®, Rheumatrex®), phenytoin (Dilantin®), medicine for infection (such as amikacin, gentamicin, streptomycin, tobramycin, Garamycin®, TOBI®), or an NSAID pain or arthritis medicine (such as aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil®, Aleve®, Celebrex®, Voltaren®).
  • Tell your doctor if you are also using a steroid medicine (such as dexamethasone or Medrol®), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), licorice, or a laxative.
  • If you also take sucralfate (Carafate®), allow at least 2 hours between the time you take furosemide and the time you take sucralfate.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease (cirrhosis), anemia, diabetes, gout, hearing problems, low blood pressure, or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Tell your doctor if you have a mineral imbalance (high or low levels of calcium, magnesium, potassium, or sodium in the blood). Make sure your doctor knows if you have an enlarged prostate, low protein in the blood, trouble urinating, or an allergy to sulfa drugs (such as sulfamethoxazole, sulfasalazine, sulfisoxazole, Bactrim®, or Septra®).
  • This medicine may cause you to lose too much potassium from your body (hypokalemia). This is more likely to occur if you have liver disease, or if you are using this medicine together with a steroid, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), large amounts of licorice, or laxatives for a long time. Tell your doctor if you have severe or continuing nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Drink fluids to stay hydrated. Tell your doctor right away if you have dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramps, nausea, or vomiting.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine.
  • This medicine could lower your blood pressure too much and cause you to feel dizzy or lightheaded. Stand or sit up slowly if you are dizzy. This is more likely to happen when you begin to use the medicine or if you become dehydrated.
  • Stop using this medicine and tell your doctor right away if you have sudden hearing loss or ringing in your ears. Tell your doctor if you have a feeling of constant movement or dizziness.
  • This medicine may raise or lower your blood sugar, or it may cover up symptoms of very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
  • This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Use a sunscreen when you are outdoors. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood or urine at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
  • Do not stop using this medicine without asking your doctor, even if you feel well. This medicine will not cure your high blood pressure, but it will help keep it in normal range. You may have to take blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
  • Chest pain, shortness of breath
  • Confusion, weakness, and muscle twitching
  • Dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramps, nausea or vomiting, uneven heartbeat
  • Sudden and severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, lightheadedness
  • Hearing loss, ringing in the ears
  • Lightheadedness or fainting
  • Severe diarrhea or stomach pain
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Yellow skin or eyes

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Stomach cramps

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

         
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