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All about: Furosemide

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Generic Name: Furosemide Injection (fure-OH-se-mide)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.

Furosemide is a strong diuretic. Using too much of this drug can lead to serious water and mineral loss. Therefore, it is important that you be monitored by your doctor. Promptly notify your doctor if you become very thirsty, have a dry mouth, become confused, or develop muscle cramps/weakness.

Furosemide is used for:

Treating fluid build-up and swelling caused by congestive heart failure, liver cirrhosis, or kidney disease. It is also used in combination with other medicines to treat fluid build-up in the lungs. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Furosemide is a loop diuretic. Loop diuretics make the kidneys eliminate larger amounts of electrolytes (especially sodium and potassium salts) and water than normal (diuretic effect). Loop diuretics are useful for treating many conditions in which salt and water retention (eg, edema, swelling) is a problem.

Do NOT use Furosemide if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Furosemide
  • you are unable to urinate

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Furosemide :

Some medical conditions may interact with Furosemide . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have fluid in your abdomen, hearing impairment, liver disease, diabetes mellitus, low urine output, high blood uric acid levels, a blood disorder, kidney disease, or lupus; you have had a heart attack; or you are dehydrated

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Furosemide . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (eg, ibuprofen, indomethacin) because they may decrease Furosemide 's effectiveness
  • Aminoglycosides (eg, gentamicin), angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (eg, captopril), ethacrynic acid, or salicylates (eg, aspirin) because serious side effects to the kidneys (decreased ability to urinate) and ears (hearing loss) may occur
  • Chloral hydrate because side effects, such as excessive sweating, rapid heart beat, and changes in blood pressure, may occur
  • Digoxin or lithium because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Furosemide

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Furosemide may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Furosemide :

Use Furosemide as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Furosemide is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you will be using Furosemide at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use Furosemide . Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • Do not use Furosemide if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
  • Furosemide may increase the amount of urine or cause you to urinate more often when you first start taking it. To keep this from disturbing your sleep, try to take your dose before 6 pm.
  • If you miss a dose of Furosemide , take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Furosemide .

Important safety information:

  • Furosemide may cause dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Furosemide with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Furosemide may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting; alcohol, hot weather, exercise, or fever may increase these effects. To prevent them, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Sit or lie down at the first sign of any of these effects.
  • Diabetes patients - Furosemide may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Blood pressure should be monitored when taking Furosemide .
  • Your doctor may also prescribe a potassium supplement while you use Furosemide . Check with your doctor before you use a salt substitute or other product that also has potassium in it.
  • Furosemide may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to Furosemide . Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
  • Lab tests, including complete blood cell counts, may be performed while you use Furosemide . These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Caution is advised when using Furosemide in CHILDREN; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Furosemide while you are pregnant. Furosemide is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Furosemide , check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Furosemide :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Abnormal skin sensations; bladder spasm; blurred vision; constipation; cramping; dizziness; dizziness when rising from a seated or lying position; feeling of whirling motion; fever; headache; lightheadedness; mouth and stomach irritation; muscle spasm; nausea; redness; restlessness; ringing in the ears; seeing a yellow color; sensitivity to sunlight; vein inflammation.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); confusion; diarrhea; drowsiness; dry mouth; excessive urination; hearing loss; loss of appetite; muscle pain/cramps/weakness; rapid or irregular heartbeat; restlessness; sudden joint pain; unusual bleeding or bruising; unusual thirst; unusual tiredness or weakness; vomiting; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include dehydration; electrolyte imbalance (weakness; drowsiness; dizziness; muscle pain or cramps; thirst; dry mouth; unusual tiredness; racing heartbeat; excessive urination; restlessness; muscle tiredness; low blood pressure; irregular heart rhythms; nausea; vomiting); low blood pressure.

Proper storage of Furosemide :

Furosemide is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using Furosemide at home, store Furosemide as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep Furosemide out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Furosemide , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Furosemide is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Furosemide . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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