Furosemide is a "water pill" (diuretic) that increases the amount of urine you make, which causes your body to get rid of excess water. This drug is used to treat high blood pressure. Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems. This medication also reduces swelling/fluid retention (edema) which can result from conditions such as congestive heart failure, liver disease, or kidney disease. This can help to improve symptoms such as trouble breathing. This medication may also be used to decrease excess calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia).
Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually once or twice daily, or as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. In children, doses greater than 6 mg per kilogram of body weight are not recommended. It is best to take this medication early in the day, before 4-6PM, to prevent having to wake up during the night to urinate. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about your dosing schedule. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to use it at the same time(s) of the day as directed. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Sucralfate, cholestyramine, and colestipol can decrease the absorption of furosemide. If you are taking any of these drugs, separate them from furosemide by at least 2 hours. If your condition persists or worsens, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Dizziness, lightheadedness, headache, blurred vision, loss of appetite, stomach upset, diarrhea, or constipation may occur as your body adjusts to the medication. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly. This medication may lead to excessive loss of body water and minerals (including potassium). Tell your doctor immediately if you have any of these unlikely but serious symptoms of dehydration or mineral loss: muscle cramps or weakness, confusion, severe dizziness, drowsiness, unusual dry mouth or thirst, nausea or vomiting, fast/irregular heartbeat, unusual decrease in the amount of urine, fainting, seizures. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: numbness/tingling of the arms/legs, ringing in the ears, hearing loss. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these highly unlikely but very serious side effects occur: signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat), easy bleeding or bruising, stomach/abdominal pain, persistent nausea/vomiting, yellowing of eyes/skin. A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Before taking furosemide, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it or to sulfa medications or if you have any other allergies. This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: severe kidney disease (inability to make urine or anuria). Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, liver disease, untreated mineral imbalance (e.g., sodium, potassium), gout, lupus. If you have diabetes, furosemide may worsen control of blood glucose levels. Monitor your blood glucose levels regularly and inform your doctor of the results. This drug may reduce the potassium levels in your blood. Ask your doctor about adding potassium to your diet. A potassium supplement may be prescribed by your doctor. This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths or sunlamps. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication. This drug may make you dizzy, drowsy, or cause blurred vision use caution engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery. Limit alcoholic beverages. To minimize dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a seated or lying position. Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially dizziness. Furosemide should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. This drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include dry mouth, dizziness, excessive urination followed by a decrease in amount of urine, muscle cramps, weakness, and weak or irregular heartbeat.
Do not share this medicine with others for whom it was not prescribed. Do not use this medicine for other health conditions. Keep this medicine out of the reach of children. If using this medicine for an extended period of time, obtain refills before your supply runs out.
The above information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that the use of the product is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your
healthcare professional before taking the product.
See also the How to Use section. This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious interactions may occur: cisapride, ethacrynic acid. If you are currently using any of these medications, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting furosemide. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: other drugs that can affect hearing/balance (e.g., aminoglycoside antibiotics such as gentamicin, tobramycin), amphotericin B, cholestyramine, cisplatin, colestipol, corticosteroids (e.g., prednisone), digoxin, lithium, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, indomethacin), large doses of aspirin and aspirin-like drugs (salicylates), sucralfate. Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products, diet aids, NSAIDs for pain/fever reduction) because they may contain ingredients that could increase your blood pressure or swelling (edema). Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of those products. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.