1 What is Lasix?

Brand: Lasix, Furocot, Delone, Detue

Generic: Furosemide

Lasix is a member of one of the groups of diuretics called ‘loop diuretics’.

It is also referred to as water pills. Furosemide is used for the treatment of fluid retention, swelling and edema, which can be caused by congestive heart failure, kidney failure, and liver disease etc.

It acts in the kidney tubules and increases the production of urine.

Furosemide can also be used either alone or in combination with other medications to treat hypertension. High blood pressure increases the workload on the heart and arteries.

Over the time, it damages the heart and arteries, which can result in damage to the vascular system of brain heart and kidneys. This can manifest as stroke, heart failure or kidney failure.

It increases the risk of heart attack. So, all these problems can be tackled by controlling blood pressure. This medicine is available only through your doctor's prescription.

This product is available in the two dosage forms:

  • Tablet
  • Solution

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Lasix, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it.

All the medicines have potential side effects. So, the benefits of a drug should always be weighed against its associated risks.

Your doctor will consider these risks before prescribing the drug and will inform you about them.

Following factors should be considered before taking this drug:

Allergies: If you have had an allergic reaction to this drug in the past, inform your doctor. You should also tell your healthcare provider if you are allergic to any other drugs or food products.

Age-specific problems: The data regarding the effects of this medicine specific to the pediatric age group has revealed no side effects specific to children.

However, premature newborns are more at risk for kidney failure, so it should be used cautiously in them. No significant problems were found in the studies specific to the geriatric age group.

Pregnancy: Regarding the safety of its use in pregnant women, it comes under “C” category.

Drug Interactions: Certain drugs should not be used together because they can interact inside the body which can have a harmful effect. On the other hand, certain drugs are allowed to be used together.

So, you should tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking. If there is a chance of interaction between those two drugs, the doctor may change the dose or may prescribe an alternative drug.

The use of furosemide concurrently with the following medication is not recommended:

  • Amikacin
  • Chloral Hydrate
  • Arsenic Trioxide
  • Bepridil
  • Cisplatin
  • Digitoxin
  • Dasabuvir
  • Dofetilide
  • Droperidol
  • Ethacrynic Acid
  • Gentamicin
  • Foscarnet
  • Kanamycin
  • Lithium
  • Ketanserin
  • Levomethadyl
  • Metolazone
  • Neomycin
  • Streptomycin
  • Netilmicin
  • Sotalol
  • Vasopressin
  • Tobramycin

Furthermore, certain medications should not be taken with alcohol or tobacco, which may also result in harmful interactions.

Ask your doctor about the concurrent use of this drug along with alcohol or tobacco.

You should also inform your doctor about any other medical condition you may be suffering from, especially:

  • Dehydration
  • Allergy to sulfa drugs
  • Anemia
  • Bladder problem with urinating
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Hyperuricemia (high levels uric acid in the blood)
  • Gout
  • Hearing problems
  • Hypocalcemia (low calcium level in the blood)
  • Hypochloremic alkalosis (low chlorine in the blood)
  • Hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood)
  • Hypomagnesemia (low magnesium in the blood)
  • Hyponatremia (low sodium in the blood)
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Liver disease, severe (e.g., cirrhosis)
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) 
  • Anuria (not able to pass urine)
  • Hypoproteinemia (low protein in the blood) from a kidney problem

3 Proper Usage

To use Lasix properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor.

Most of the patients with high blood pressure do not feel any symptom at all. All of these patients feel well.

Therefore, it is very important that you take your medication on time and visit your doctor regularly, even if you feel normal.

The treatment of high blood pressure primarily includes weight control and diet modification. You should avoid foods that are high in sodium. You should ask your doctor about the proper diet for you.

Furosemide does not cure your hypertension permanently, it only controls it temporarily. You have to take this medication continuously if you want to control your blood pressure for a longer time period.

You may have to take it for the rest of your life if you want to avoid the dangerous sequels of hypertensions like stroke, heart attack and kidney failure etc.

You can measure the oral liquid dosage with a specifically marked measuring spoon, oral syringe or a medicine cup.

If you are using a medication called sucralfate, take this medicine two hours before or two hours after taking furosemide because it may affect the working of furosemide.

Do not miss any dose. The dose of this drug varies according to the condition of each person.

The number of doses per day, the time interval between the doses and the length of time you have to take the medicine depends on your condition individually and all these factors should only be determined by your healthcare provider.

Follow each and every instruction of your doctor and also, read the label carefully.

In case you miss one dose of this drug, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your subsequent dose, you can then skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

Storage: This medicine should be stored at room temperature within a closed container, away from heat, direct light, and moisture. Keep this drug out of the reach of children.

Do not store expired or outdated medicines or the medicine no longer needed.

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Lasix, there are some precautions you must take.

Regular follow-up is necessary during and after the treatment. It is important to allow your doctor to monitor your progress and to make sure that there aren’t any side effects from the medication.

Contact your doctor if your symptoms have not improved even after taking the full course of treatment. The doctor may order some blood tests in order to determine the blood levels of the drug.

Usage of this medication in pregnancy may lead to a condition of fetus called macrosomia. It means that your baby can be bigger than the normal baby for that gestational age.

Therefore, tell your doctor if you are pregnant. This medication may lead to hypokalemia, especially in people with liver disease.

Tell your doctor right away if you become sick while on this medication. Drink lots of fluid in order to avoid dehydration.

Avoid taking any other medicine unless thoroughly discussed with your doctor. Always ask your doctor before using any prescription, non-prescription or herbal medicine.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Lasix.

All the drugs have a tendency to cause unwanted effects along with its desired effects.

Although these side effects may occur only in a handful of patients but if they do occur, contact your physician immediately.

This medication is associated with following side effects:

  • chills
  • chest pain
  • fever
  • the general feeling of tiredness or weakness
  • headache
  • lower back or side pain
  • a cough or hoarseness
  • swollen or painful glands
  • painful or difficult urination
  • shortness of breath
  • tightness in the chest
  • sore throat
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • wheezing
  • back or leg pains
  • bleeding gums
  • black, tarry stools
  • blurred vision
  • blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin
  • bloating
  • blood in the urine or stools
  • clay-colored stools
  • confusion
  • cloudy urine
  • coughing up blood
  • cold sweats
  • constipation
  • continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears
  • flushed, dry skin
  • increased thirst
  • fruit-like breath odor
  • greatly decreased the frequency of urination or amount of urine
  • hearing loss
  • indigestion
  • itching
  • pale skin
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea or vomiting
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • nosebleeds
  • pain in the joints or muscles
  • red, irritated eyes
  • red, swollen skin
  • yellow eyes or skin

Seek medical help instantly, if you experience any of these symptoms while on this medication. Also, contact your healthcare professional immediately, if have overdosed on this drug.