|Type of medicine||Diuretic (also known as a water tablet)|
|Used for||Oedema (excess fluid in the body)
Diumide® K Continus (furosemide with potassium)
Frumil® (furosemide with amiloride)
Frusene® (furosemide with triamterene)
Lasilactone® (furosemide with spironolactone)
|Available as||Tablets, oral solution and injection|
Furosemide belongs to the group of medicines known as loop diuretics. Diuretics are sometimes referred to as water tablets.
Furosemide is used to treat oedema (water retention) due to heart failure. It is also sometimes used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure).
If the heart becomes less efficient at pumping blood around the body, fluid leaks out of the blood vessels causing swelling in the tissues of the lungs, feet and ankles. Furosemide prevents the build up of fluid by increasing the amount of urine produced by your kidneys.
Furosemide can be used alone, alongside other diuretics such as triamterene, amiloride or spironolactone, or in combination with potassium.
Before taking furosemide
Before taking furosemide make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you have kidney problems, difficulty passing urine, or are dehydrated.
- If you have prostate or liver problems.
- If you have gout or diabetes.
- If you have been told you have low sodium or potassium levels in your blood.
- If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or any other medicine. It is particularly important that you tell your doctor if you are allergic to a sulphonamide medicine.
How to take furosemide
- Before taking furosemide, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack.
- Take furosemide exactly as your doctor has told you.
- Try to take furosemide at the same time(s) each day to avoid missing any doses.
- Furosemide will make you pass urine more often, so your doctor will usually advise that you take your dose in the morning so as not to disturb your sleep. If you take more than one dose each day, take the last dose before 6 pm in the evening.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until it is after 6 pm in the evening, skip the missed dose and continue taking it at the usual times the next day. Do not take two doses together to make up for a missed dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Keep your regular appointments with your doctor so your progress can be monitored.
- Diuretics help you to lose water. On occasions you may lose too much and become dehydrated, leaving you feeling thirsty and your skin looking and feeling dry. Let your doctor know if this happens.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with your other medicines.
- If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
Can furosemide cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Possible side-effects||What can I do if I experience this|
|Stomach upset||Stick to simple or bland foods, and avoid rich or spicy foods|
|Dizziness or feeling faint, especially when getting up from sitting or lying down||Getting up slowly should help. If you begin to feel dizzy, lie down so that you do not faint, then sit for a few minutes before standing up|
|Dry mouth||Try chewing sugar-free gum or sweets|
|Blurred vision, tiredness, ringing in the ears, skin rash, increased sensitivity to sunlight, weakness, and dehydration||If any of these become troublesome, speak with your doctor|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store furosemide
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 60th Edition (September 2010) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Furosemide 20/40mg Tablets; Manufacturer's PIL, Furosemide 20/40mg Tablets, Aurobindo Pharma Ltd, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated December 2007, accessed January 2011.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen|
|Last Checked: 22/02/2011||Document ID: 3359 Version: 22||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.