Generic Name(s): furosemide
Drug Class: Loop diuretics
Treats: Edema, Hypertension, Hypercalcemia
Lasix is a water pill used in preventing the body from absorbing excess salt, instead allowing the salt to be passed out in the urine. This medication treats edema (fluid retention) in individuals with a kidney disorder such as nephrotic syndrome, those with congestive heart failure and those with liver disease. The medication is also used in the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure).
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Lasix is used in reducing excess fluid in the body as a result of some conditions such as liver disease, kidney disease, and heart failure. The drug can help reduce symptoms like swelling in legs, arms, and abdomen, as well as shortness of breath. The drug can also be used in treating high blood pressure. Lowering of blood pressure helps prevent a patient against kidney problems, strokes, and heart attacks. The drug is a water pill that causes a patient to manufacture more urine. Lasix can also be used to reduce a high calcium level in the blood. A condition called hypercalcemia.
Lasix should only be taken as prescribed by the doctor; therefore, a patient should never take this drug in more doses than instructed. Higher doses of this drug may cause an irreversible hearing loss.
- The normal starting dose for treating edema is 20-80mg given as one dose
- A similar or increased dose may be given 6-8 hours later
- In order to achieve the desired effect, doses may be increased by 20-40mg every 6-8 hours
- Some patients may require 600mg daily
- The effective dose should be administered once or twice a day
- The normal starting dose should be 2mg/kg
- In order to achieve the desired results, this dose may be increased by 1-2mg/kg every 6 hours
- 40mg twice daily is the recommended dose for the treatment of hypertension
- In case furosemide is added, the dosage for other blood pressure drugs needs to be reduced by 50%
Lasix Side Effects
Like any other drug, Lasix may cause side effects. You should contact your doctor if you suffer any severe side effects. Below you will find a list of common side effects. Note that not all possible side effects are listed here:
Some common side effects include:
- blurred vision
- lightheadedness or dizziness.
Some serious side effects associated with this drug include:
- Muscle cramps
- Severe dizziness
- Unusual dry mouth
- Unusual decrease in urine amount
- Unusual tiredness
- Numbness of legs/arms
- Hearing changes (such as permanent or temporary deafness or ringing ears)
- Stomach pain
- Yellowing skin/eyes
This drug may also cause a serious loss of water in the body (dehydration) and minerals/salt.
Lasix may interact with other drugs. Therefore, patients need to inform doctors of all the drugs under use. This way, the doctors can be able to monitor those drugs for any drug interactions. Some drugs that may interact with Lasix include:
- Aminoglycoside antibiotics such as gentamicin or ethacrynic acid may lead to a hearing damage
- Aspirin competes with Lasix in the elimination of urine by the kidneys. Using Lasix with aspirin may, therefore, lead to the high concentration of aspirin in the blood and aspirin toxicity
- Eskalith or Lithobid. Lasix can reduce lithium excretion by the kidneys leading to increased lithium concentration in the blood.
- Sucralfate. This drug reduces the action of Lasix by hiding it in the intestine. This prevents the drug absorption into the body. Ingestion of these two drugs should be two hours apart.