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Furosemide For Edema

Updated on December 3, 2012

Prescription water pills fall into three categories: loop diuretics, thiazide diuretics and potassium sparing diuretics.

Lasix is a loop diuretic that is commonly prescribed to treat edema, especially when the edema is due to the other health conditions of renal failure and congestive heart failure when they are present in conjunction with edema.

Furosemide is approved by the FDA, making it safe to use for alleviating the symptoms of edema. Furosemide is also approved for the treatment of high blood pressure.

The most common form of Furosemide goes by the brand name of Lasix.

Furosemide has been used successfully for decades, and is especially effective for use by patients with kidney problems. Furosemide (or Lasix) works to keep a persons body from absorbing too much salt. It effectively causes the salt to be passed in the urine.


Let Physician Know Of Any Of These Conditions Before Using Furosemide

It is crucial to let the physician know if certain conditions are present before beginning to take Furosemide, as these conditions can influence the physician's decision whether or not to prescribe Furosemide. These conditions are important to inform the physician of:

  • Any known allergies to sulfa drugs
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Enlarged prostate, or bladder obstruction which could interfere with the ability to urinate
  • High cholesterol or high triglycerides
  • Any electrolyte imbalance, such as low levels of magnesium or potassium
  • Lupus
  • Gout
  • Any recent MRI that required the injection of radioactive dye into veins
  • Tell the physician if you are pregnant, nursing, or plan to become pregnant
  • Inform the physician of all other prescription drugs being taken, due to possibility of drug interactions.

These conditions are important for the physician to be aware of before deciding whether or not to prescribe Furosemide.

In addition, when a patient is taking Furosemide, they should have blood tests done as advised to be sure that no harmful side effects are present that are not otherwise obvious.

If a physician prescribes Furosemide, it is very important to take it exactly as prescribed, and to be especially careful to make sure that the dosage is correct. If the medication is in liquid form, the patient should own a dose measuring spoon to ensure the most accurate dosage.

Not every medication is safe for every patient to use, so it is very important to have a good line of communication with a physician before using Furosemide.


Possible Side Effects Of Furosemide

  • Ringing in the ears
  • Feeling very thirsty, dry mouth or heavy sweating
  • Leg cramps or abdominal cramps
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Red rash or bruising
  • Painful or difficult urination
  • Dizziness or lightheaded feeling
  • Red or purple dots under skin or pale skin
  • Numbness, tingling or weakness in one side of body

It is especially important to follow the physicians directions exactly for the proper dosage of Furosemide, because these side effects can occur at higher than prescribed dosages.

One especially concerning side effect if the dosage is too high is the loss of hearing, which is irreversible, so it is very important to use Furosemide correctly.


Three Things To Avoid While Taking Furosemide

When taking Furosemide, the first thing to avoid is getting dehydrated.

Furosemide will cause frequent urination, so it is very important to keep well hydrated and follow physicians instructions for proper fluid intake. This can help to prevent or alleviate some of the unwanted side effects.

It is also important to avoid getting up too quickly from a seated position. Getting up slowly can prevent a feeling of dizziness or lightheaded feeling upon standing.

When getting up, hang onto something if necessary to keep steady and prevent falling.

Another very important thing to avoid when taking Furosemide is exposure to the sun, or using a tanning bed.

Getting a sunburn becomes much easier when using Furosemide, so if being outdoors is necessary, it is wise to use sunscreen and to wear proper protective clothing.


Keep Open Line Of Communication With Physician For Best Results

It is best to communicate with your physician while using Furosemide.

Furosemide is a very effective treatment for edema for a lot of people, but it can have potential side effects.

When a physician is aware of these effects, the dosage of the medication can be adjusted to prevent these harmful effects or eliminate them altogether.

Edema is a very uncomfortable and sometimes painful condition.

Furosemide can help, especially when it is used in the optimum dosage, to provide the best benefit. Feeling relief from the symptoms of edema can make the quality of life much better, which is the ultimate goal.

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