What's Furosemide and What's It For?

Furosemide is considered a strong drug, so it should only be taken under prescription and medical observation. Let's see more details of this drug.
What's Furosemide and What's It For?

Written by Daniela Andarcia, 20 July, 2021

Last update: 20 July, 2021

Furosemide is a diuretic medication, usually used to treat high blood pressure, heart failure, or edema. Lasix and Seguril are some of the brand names available, although it can also be found as a generic drug.

Keep in mind that furosemide is considered a strong treatment and that it can cause unwanted side effects, so you can only get it if it’s prescribed by a doctor. It’s vital that you follow the indications and doses recommended by the specialist.

For what do you use it?

Furosemide is a medicine for high blood pressure
This drug is usually used alone or in combination with other antihypertensives.

It’s a diuretic drug used to control high blood pressure, reduce excess fluid in the body, and treat heart failure. The doctor may prescribe this medicine when the patient’s kidneys aren’t working normally.

It’s also used to prevent cardiovascular accidents, as well as to treat kidney and liver disease. Furosemide is intended to remove excess water and salt found in the body through urine.

How is it administered?

The dose, presentation and frequency with which furosemide should be taken varies and depends on factors such as:

  • Age
  • Pathology
  • The severity of the disease
  • If you have other medical conditions
  • Allergies or reactions to medication

Presentations

Furosemide usually comes as a 20, 40, and 80-milligram solution or as a tablet to take orally. However, it’s also found in the pharmacy as an injectable solution of 10 milligrams per 1 milliliter, 20 milligrams per 2 milliliters, and 40 milligrams per 5 milliliters.

Dose

To control hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe, if you’re between 18 and 64 years old, a dose of 80 milligrams a day, to be ingested in two doses of 40 milligrams. It all depends on how you respond to treatment and other factors.

If you’re an elderly person, the doctor will prescribe a lower dose than usual. This is because older people process drugs slower and drugs stay in the body for longer.

Also, keep in mind that there are currently no studies to support this drug for treating blood pressure in infants, children, and adolescents.

To treat edema, the specialist will recommend a dose of 20 to 80 milligrams if the patient’s age range is 18 to 64 years. From 0 to 17 years, the dose is usually 2 milligrams.

Who should not take furosemide?

Newborns, children, or older adults can take furosemide, as long as they don’t have the following conditions:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Some liver diseases
  • Being allergic to furosemide or similar medications
  • Being dehydrated
  • Having diabetes
  • Having difficulty urinating
  • Being lactose or maltitol intolerant
  • Suffering from gout

It isn’t common for a doctor to prescribe furosemide for pregnant or lactating women, however, the doctor can prescribe the medication if deemed necessary.

What are the possible side effects?

According to the Mayo Clinic, this drug may cause side effects, some are considered common and some are serious. Have a look at them:

Common side effects

Furosemide has several adverse effects
Gastrointestinal problems can become frequent.

Among the possible side effects, some of the following may be found:

  • After taking a dose of furosemide, you may need to urinate more often
  • Headache
  • Dizziness or confusion
  • Dry mouth
  • Thirst
  • Muscle spasms
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Tachycardia

Serious side effects

If you experience any of these symptoms, see your doctor immediately:

  • Fever
  • An intense headache
  • Ulcers in the mouth
  • Discomfort in the throat
  • Bruising
  • Blood in the urine
  • Hearing loss
  • Ear pain or ringing
  • A strong stomach ache

We recommend that you read the warnings on the furosemide container, they may indicate other side effects that we haven’t mentioned.

What happens if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose and you’re too close to the next dosage, it’s best to skip it and take the next dosage. It isn’t advisable to double the dose to make up for the one you’ve forgotten.

An alarm to tell you it’s time to take the medicine could be a good option so that it doesn’t happen again.

What should I do in case of an overdose?

An overdose of furosemide can cause serious side effects. Therefore, whether by accident or someone ingesting it intentionally, go immediately to a medical center, tell them what happened, and don’t forget to bring the package that contains the pills.

How to store or dispose of this medicine?

Keep this medicine in the package, in a cool place, out of the reach of children. Neither should it be put in the fridge or exposed directly to light or high temperatures.

If it’s expired or if you want to dispose of the medicine, don’t throw it down the toilet or in the trash; the best place to take it to is the pharmacy. Take it there and you’ll protect the environment, as well as preventing other people from consuming it.

Furosemide, a warning about liver function

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a warning about this drug, as it’s considered a strong diuretic that can cause profound diuresis with water and electrolyte depletion. Therefore, it should only be taken with the consent of a doctor.

If you’re taking this medicine, you shouldn’t offer it or recommend it to another person who has the same symptoms. You should go to the doctor to perform the relevant tests and, they’ll prescribe the treatment that you require.

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