Furosemide is a diuretic drug which prevents the body from accumulating greater amount of salt, allowing the salt to pass in the urine. This drug gets rid of fluid retention in individuals with liver disease, congestive heart failure or kidney diseases like nephrotic condition. This drug is also utilized to treat hypertension. You must not use Furosemide if you were not able to urinate.
There are important things you need to inform your doctor before taking the medicine some of which are as follows: kidney disease, urination problems, an electrolyte imbalance, gout, cirrhosis or other liver disease, lupus, high cholesterol, enlarged prostate, or an allergy to sulfa medicines. Inform your doctor if you have undergone MRI recently or any kind of scan that involve using a radioactive dye which is injected into your veins. Stop using this drug. Furosemide at higher doses could result in permanent loss of hearing. In case you are taking medicine for high blood pressure, you can continue using this medicine even if you are fine.
What is Furosemide used for?
This drug is a prescription drug that is taken to solve fluid retention and lowers high blood pressure in adults. This has also been given to treat fluid retention in infants and children. There are some instances that it is used for off-label purposes, which includes the treatment of some types of water retention and hypercalcemia due to PMS. Other diseases that can be treated using Furosemide are as follows:
- Congestive heart failure
- Kidney failure or kidney disease
The normal starting dose of Furosemide for edema is 20 as one dose. After 6-8 hours the same dose is given or the dose can be increased. It can be increased to 20-40mg every 6-8 hours until it achieved the desired effect. The most recommended dose is once or twice a day. There are some patients that needs 600 mg every day. The normal dose for children is 2mg/kg. The initial dose may increase by 1-2mg/kg every 6 hours.
Common Furosemide side effects
Vertigo, headaches, and anemia are some of the Furosemide’s common side effects. Issues involving this drug are most of the time minimal and can be treated on your own or with the help of a health care provider. But, if you encounter any serious side effects, like a rash, unexplained swelling or a rash, call your doctor at once. There are side effects that are serious and must be relayed right away to your doctor. Some of which includedizziness, fainting spells or light-headedness, yellowing of the skin, hearing problems, high blood sugar. Dehydration or low electrolytes are also a common side effects which symptoms include:
- Dry mouth
- Decreased urination
- Low blood pressure
- Nausea or vomiting
- Muscle pain or cramps
- Rapid heart rate or irregular heart rhythm
Furosemide side effects on children
Your child may experience some side effects while under Furosemide medication. Normally your child will not require to see their doctor. These side effects may eventually go away once the child body’s gets used to the medication. However, if in case the following signs or symptoms persists you need to contact your doctor right away:
- Blurred vision
- Loss of appetite
- Dizziness when getting up from sitting or lying position
- Stomach cramps
The list of side effects below are not common, but they could be a sign of a serious condition. Contact your child’s doctor right away or take your child to the nearest hospital if your child experience any of the following side effects:
- Throwing up, feeling sick to the stomach, diarrhea
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Increased thirst
- Muscle pain or cramps
- Unexplained fever
- Pain in lower back and sides
- Pain in joints
- Dryness of mouth
- Unexplained sore throat
- Unexplained fever
- Behavior changes
- Severe weakness or tiredness
- Changes in vision
Furosemide Side Effects on Men
Furosemide may have side effects that will affect the cardiovascular system particularly in men due to excessive lowering of blood pressure. Dizziness, headache, weakness, dry mouth, visual disorders, precollaptoid state or fainting, drowsiness, slow reactions are common side effects that both men and women can experience. If these symptoms takes place regularly you need to call your doctor and he will decide if you need to adjust the dose of the drug.
Others may experience allergic reactions having the following symptoms skin itching, skin sensitivity to sunlight, vasculitis, necrotizing arteritis, skin rash, purpura, exudative erythema multiforme, fever and chills, and hives. The following side effects are rare but should given proper attention once occur:
- Sense organs: reversible hearing loss and tinnitus
- Digestive system: diarrhea, vomiting, constipation or nausea
- Nervous system: crawling, tingling sensations or numbness
Furosemide side effects on women
Women taking Furosemide will most likely experience the signs of an allergic reaction like difficulty in breathing, swelling of the face, throat, lips or tongue and hives. You need to stop taking Furosemide if you have the following serious side effect:
- Loss of hearing
- Difficult urination
- Unusual bleeding
- Feeling light-headed, trouble concentrating
- Upper stomach pain, dark urine, itching
- Rapid heart rate, feeling light-headed
- Dry mouth, confusion, restless feeling, uneven heart rate, muscle pain or weakness
- Tingly feeling around your mouth, contraction, muscle tightness
- Loss of appetite, shallow breathing, trouble concentrating, feeling unsteady, headache
- Severe skin reaction
There are some side effects that may occur which do not require medication. These side effects will go away eventually as the body gets used to the medication. Likewise, your doctor may be able to inform you regarding ways in preventing or reducing some of these side effects. Consult your doctor if any of the following side effects persists or are annoying or if you have any concern about them.
Furosemide Side Effects on Pregnant Women
The study carried out on rabbits using Furosemide shows that this is the caused of abortions and unknown maternal deaths. There are no enough studies concerning pregnant women taking Furosemide. Furosemide can be used during pregnancy if the benefit is much more as compared to the harm it may cause to the infant. If you are taking Furosemide it is important that you monitor the fetal growth. The side effects and good effects of Furosemide on the embryo and the growth of the fetus on pregnant dams were studied in rabbits, mice and rats.
FDA categorized Furosemide in pregnancy category C. The study of animal shows that there is an evidenced of felolethality and maternal death at higher doses. Monitoring of fetal growth is a must if the pregnant women are under the Furosemide medication due to the possibility for higher birth weights. Also, some animal studies show an increased incidence of hydronephrosis. No controlled data found in human pregnancy. This drug should be given during pregnancy if the benefits will outweigh the risk.
Furosemide side effects on elderly
The elderly experiencing excessive diuresis may result in blood volume reduction and dehydration with circulatory collapse and embolism and vascular thrombosis. There might be an electrolyte depletion while under Furosemide therapy particularly in patients taking higher doses and with restricted salt intake. While under the medication, hypokalemia may occur, particularly with fast diuresis, if there is cirrhosis, ACTH, prolonged use of laxatives, during continuous use of corticosteroids and inadequate oral electrolyte intake. The digitalis might exaggerate the metabolic effects of hypokalemia particularly myocardial effects.
Patients particularly the elderly taking Furosemide therapy must take note of the signs or symptoms of electrolyte or fluid imbalance such as thirst, drowsiness, muscle pains cramps, oliguria, arrhythmia, restlessness, hypotension, muscular fatigue, gastrointestinal disturbances like vomiting and nausea and tachycardia. Alterations in glucose tolerance tests and an increase in blood glucose have been noticed, and rarely, diabetes mellitus has been reported.