What is furosemide?

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Generic Name: Furosemide Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Know the basics

What is furosemide used for?

Furosemide is used to reduce extra fluid in the body (edema) caused by conditions such as heart failure, liver disease, and kidney disease. This can lessen symptoms such as shortness of breath and swelling in your arms, legs, and abdomen.

Furosemide is also used to treat high blood pressure. Lowering high blood pressurehelps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems.

Furosemide is a “water pill” (diuretic) that causes you to make more urine. This helps your body get rid of extra water and salt.

OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by yourhealth care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.

Furosemide may also be used to decrease a high level of calcium in the blood(hypercalcemia).

How should I take furosemide?

Take furosemide by mouth as directed by your doctor, with or without food, usually once or twice daily. It is best to avoid taking this medication within 4 hours of your bedtime to prevent having to get up to urinate.

Dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to treatment. For children, the dose is also based on weight. Older adults usually start with a lower dose to decrease the risk of side effects. Do not increase your dose or take it more often than directed.

Take furosemide regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) of the day as directed. It is important to continue taking furosemide even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick.

Sucralfate, cholestyramine, and colestipol can decrease the absorption of furosemide. If you are taking any of these drugs, separate the timing of each dose from furosemide by at least 2 hours.

Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens (for example, yourblood pressure readings remain high or increase).

How do I store furosemide?

Furosemide is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store furosemide in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of furosemide that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush furosemide down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Know the precautions & warnings

What should I know before using furosemide?

Before taking furosemide,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to furosemide, sulfa drugs, or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially other medications for high blood pressure, aspirin, corticosteroids (e.g., prednisone), digoxin (Lanoxin), indomethacin (Indocin), lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid), medications for diabetes, probenecid (Benemid), and vitamins. If you also are taking cholestyramine or colestipol, take it at least 1 hour after taking furosemide.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had diabetes, gout, or kidney or liver disease.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while taking this medicine. If you become pregnant while taking furosemide, call your doctor.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking furosemide.
  • plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Furosemide may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.

Is it safe to take furosemide during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication. This medication is pregnancy risk category C according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown

Know the side effects

What are the side effects of furosemide?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using furosemide and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • ringing in your ears, hearing loss;
  • itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting;
  • weight loss, body aches, numbness;
  • swelling, rapid weight gain, urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • chest pain, new or worsening cough with fever, trouble breathing;
  • pale skin, bruising, unusual bleeding, feeling light-headed, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;
  • low potassium (confusion, uneven heart rate, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling);
  • low calcium (tingly feeling around your mouth, muscle tightness or contraction, overactive reflexes);
  • headache, feeling unsteady, weak or shallow breathing; or
  • severe skin reaction — fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain;
  • dizziness, spinning sensation;
  • mild itching or rash.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Know the interactions

What drugs may interact with furosemide?

Furosemide may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

If you take sucralfate (Carafate), take it at least 2 hours before or after you take furosemide.

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

  • cisplatin (Platinol);
  • cyclosporine (Neoral, Gengraf, Sandimmune);
  • ethacrynic acid (Edecrin);
  • lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid);
  • methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall);
  • phenytoin (Dilantin);
  • an antibiotic such as amikacin (Amikin), cefdinir (Omnicef), cefprozil (Cefzil), cefuroxime (Ceftin), cephalexin (Keflex), gentamicin (Garamycin), kanamycin (Kantrex), neomycin (Mycifradin, Neo Fradin, Neo Tab), streptomycin, tobramycin (Nebcin, Tobi);
  • heart or blood pressure medication such as amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), benazepril (Lotensin), candesartan (Atacand), eprosartan (Teveten), enalapril (Vasotec), irbesartan (Avapro, Avalide), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), losartan (Cozaar, Hyzaar), olmesartan (Benicar), quinapril (Accupril), ramipril (Altace), telmisartan (Micardis), valsartan (Diovan), and others;
  • a laxative (Metamucil, Milk of Magnesia, Colace, Dulcolax, Epsom salts, senna, and others)
  • salicylates such as aspirin, Disalcid, Doan’s Pills, Dolobid, Salflex, Tricosal, and others; or
  • steroids (prednisone and others).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with furosemide. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Does food or alcohol interact with furosemide?

Furosemide may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with furosemide?

Furosemide may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, especially:

  • Allergy to sulfa drugs (e.g., sulfamethoxazole, sulfasalazine, sulfisoxazole, Azulfidine®, Bactrim®, Gantrisin®, or Septra®);
  • Anemia;
  • Bladder problem with urinating;
  • Dehydration;
  • Diabetes mellitus;
  • Gout;
  • Hearing problems;
  • Hyperuricemia (high uric acid in the blood);
  • Hypocalcemia (low calcium in the blood);
  • Hypochloremic alkalosis (low chlorine in the blood);
  • Hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood);
  • Hypomagnesemia (low magnesium in the blood);
  • Hyponatremia (low sodium in the blood);
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure);
  • Hypovolemia (low blood volume);
  • Liver disease, severe (e.g., cirrhosis);
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE);
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears);
  • Trouble urinating (caused by bladder emptying disorders, enlarged prostate, narrow urethra)—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
  • Anuria (not able to pass urine)—Should not be used in patients with this condition.
  • Hypoproteinemia (low protein in the blood) from a kidney problem;
  • Radiocontrast nephropathy (kidney problem)—May cause side effects to become worse.
  • Kidney disease, severe—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.

Understand the Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication.

What is the dose of Furosemide for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Ascites
Initial: 20 to 80 mg orally per dose.
Maintenance: Increase in increments of 20 to 40 mg/dose every 6 to 8 hours to desired effect. The usual dosage interval is once or twice daily, with a maximum daily dose of 600 mg.
Intravenous/Intramuscular: 10 to 20 mg once over 1 to 2 minutes. A repeat dose similar to the initial dose may be given within 2 hours if there is an inadequate response. Following the repeat dose, if there is still an inadequate response within another 2 hours, the last intravenous dose may be raised by 20 to 40 mg until there is an effective diuresis. Single doses exceeding 200 mg are rarely necessary.
Continuous intravenous infusion: 0.1 mg/kg as an initial bolus dose, followed by 0.1 mg/kg/hour doubled every 2 hours to a maximum of 0.4 mg/kg/hour.

Usual Adult Dose for Congestive Heart Failure
Initial: 20 to 80 mg orally per dose.
Maintenance: Increase in increments of 20 to 40 mg/dose every 6 to 8 hours to desired effect. The usual dosage interval is once or twice daily, with a maximum daily dose of 600 mg.
Intravenous/Intramuscular: 10 to 20 mg once over 1 to 2 minutes. A repeat dose similar to the initial dose may be given within 2 hours if there is an inadequate response. Following the repeat dose, if there is still an inadequate response within another 2 hours, the last intravenous dose may be raised by 20 to 40 mg until there is an effective diuresis. Single doses exceeding 200 mg are rarely necessary.
Continuous intravenous infusion: 0.1 mg/kg as an initial bolus dose, followed by 0.1 mg/kg/hour doubled every 2 hours to a maximum of 0.4 mg/kg/hour.

Usual Adult Dose for Edema

Initial: 20 to 80 mg orally per dose.
Maintenance: Increase in increments of 20 to 40 mg/dose every 6 to 8 hours to desired effect. The usual dosage interval is once or twice daily, with a maximum daily dose of 600 mg.
Intravenous/Intramuscular: 10 to 20 mg once over 1 to 2 minutes. A repeat dose similar to the initial dose may be given within 2 hours if there is an inadequate response. Following the repeat dose, if there is still an inadequate response within another 2 hours, the last intravenous dose may be raised by 20 to 40 mg until there is an effective diuresis. Single doses exceeding 200 mg are rarely necessary.
Continuous intravenous infusion: 0.1 mg/kg as an initial bolus dose, followed by 0.1 mg/kg/hour doubled every 2 hours to a maximum of 0.4 mg/kg/hour.

Usual Adult Dose for Hypertension
Initial: 20 to 80 mg orally per dose.
Maintenance: Increase in increments of 20 to 40 mg/dose every 6 to 8 hours to desired effect. The usual dosage interval is once or twice daily, with a maximum daily dose of 600 mg.
Intravenous/Intramuscular: 10 to 20 mg once over 1 to 2 minutes. A repeat dose similar to the initial dose may be given within 2 hours if there is an inadequate response. Following the repeat dose, if there is still an inadequate response within another 2 hours, the last intravenous dose may be raised by 20 to 40 mg until there is an effective diuresis. Single doses exceeding 200 mg are rarely necessary.
Continuous intravenous infusion: 0.1 mg/kg as an initial bolus dose, followed by 0.1 mg/kg/hour doubled every 2 hours to a maximum of 0.4 mg/kg/hour.

Usual Adult Dose for Nonobstructive Oliguria
Initial: 20 to 80 mg orally per dose.
Maintenance: Increase in increments of 20 to 40 mg/dose every 6 to 8 hours to desired effect. The usual dosage interval is once or twice daily, with a maximum daily dose of 600 mg.
Intravenous/Intramuscular: 10 to 20 mg once over 1 to 2 minutes. A repeat dose similar to the initial dose may be given within 2 hours if there is an inadequate response. Following the repeat dose, if there is still an inadequate response within another 2 hours, the last intravenous dose may be raised by 20 to 40 mg until there is an effective diuresis. Single doses exceeding 200 mg are rarely necessary.
Continuous intravenous infusion: 0.1 mg/kg as an initial bolus dose, followed by 0.1 mg/kg/hour doubled every 2 hours to a maximum of 0.4 mg/kg/hour.

Usual Adult Dose for Pulmonary Edema
Initial: 20 to 80 mg orally per dose.
Maintenance: Increase in increments of 20 to 40 mg/dose every 6 to 8 hours to desired effect. The usual dosage interval is once or twice daily, with a maximum daily dose of 600 mg.
Intravenous/Intramuscular: 10 to 20 mg once over 1 to 2 minutes. A repeat dose similar to the initial dose may be given within 2 hours if there is an inadequate response. Following the repeat dose, if there is still an inadequate response within another 2 hours, the last intravenous dose may be raised by 20 to 40 mg until there is an effective diuresis. Single doses exceeding 200 mg are rarely necessary.
Continuous intravenous infusion: 0.1 mg/kg as an initial bolus dose, followed by 0.1 mg/kg/hour doubled every 2 hours to a maximum of 0.4 mg/kg/hour.

Usual Adult Dose for Renal Failure
Initial: 20 to 80 mg orally per dose.
Maintenance: Increase in increments of 20 to 40 mg/dose every 6 to 8 hours to desired effect. The usual dosage interval is once or twice daily, with a maximum daily dose of 600 mg.
Intravenous/Intramuscular: 10 to 20 mg once over 1 to 2 minutes. A repeat dose similar to the initial dose may be given within 2 hours if there is an inadequate response. Following the repeat dose, if there is still an inadequate response within another 2 hours, the last intravenous dose may be raised by 20 to 40 mg until there is an effective diuresis. Single doses exceeding 200 mg are rarely necessary.
Continuous intravenous infusion: 0.1 mg/kg as an initial bolus dose, followed by 0.1 mg/kg/hour doubled every 2 hours to a maximum of 0.4 mg/kg/hour.

Usual Adult Dose for Renal Transplant
Initial: 20 to 80 mg orally per dose.
Maintenance: Increase in increments of 20 to 40 mg/dose every 6 to 8 hours to desired effect. The usual dosage interval is once or twice daily, with a maximum daily dose of 600 mg.
Intravenous/Intramuscular: 10 to 20 mg once over 1 to 2 minutes. A repeat dose similar to the initial dose may be given within 2 hours if there is an inadequate response. Following the repeat dose, if there is still an inadequate response within another 2 hours, the last intravenous dose may be raised by 20 to 40 mg until there is an effective diuresis. Single doses exceeding 200 mg are rarely necessary.
Continuous intravenous infusion: 0.1 mg/kg as an initial bolus dose, followed by 0.1 mg/kg/hour doubled every 2 hours to a maximum of 0.4 mg/kg/hour.

Usual Adult Dose for Oliguria
Initial: 20 to 80 mg orally per dose.
Maintenance: Increase in increments of 20 to 40 mg/dose every 6 to 8 hours to desired effect. The usual dosage interval is once or twice daily, with a maximum daily dose of 600 mg.
Intravenous/Intramuscular: 10 to 20 mg once over 1 to 2 minutes. A repeat dose similar to the initial dose may be given within 2 hours if there is an inadequate response. Following the repeat dose, if there is still an inadequate response within another 2 hours, the last intravenous dose may be raised by 20 to 40 mg until there is an effective diuresis. Single doses exceeding 200 mg are rarely necessary.
Continuous intravenous infusion: 0.1 mg/kg as an initial bolus dose, followed by 0.1 mg/kg/hour doubled every 2 hours to a maximum of 0.4 mg/kg/hour.

Usual Adult Dose for Hypercalcemia
Oral: 10 to 40 mg 4 times a day.
Intravenous: 20 to 100 mg every 1 to 2 hours over 1 to 2 minutes.

What is the dose of Furosemide for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for Edema
Neonatal:
Oral: Bioavailability is about 20%; doses of 1 mg/kg/dose 1 to 2 times/day have been used
Intramuscular or Intravenous: Note: Significant absorption within Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO ) circuit; avoid administration directly into circuit; high doses may be required for adequate diuretic effect.
Gestational age (GA) less than 31 weeks: 1 mg/kg/dose every 24 hours; accumulation and increased risk of toxicity may be observed with doses greater than 2 mg/kg or doses of 1 mg/kg given more frequently than every 24 hours.
GA greater than or equal to 31 weeks: 1 to 2 mg/kg/dose every 12 to 24 hours.
Continuous IV infusion: 0.2 mg/kg/hour, increase in 0.1 mg/kg/hour increments every 12 to 24 hours to a maximum infusion rate of 0.4 mg/kg/hour.
Pulmonary edema: Inhalation: 1 to 2 mg/kg/dose diluted in 2 mL NS as a single dose
Infants and Children:
Oral: 2 mg/kg once daily; if ineffective, may increase in increments of 1 to 2 mg/kg/dose every 6 to 8 hours; not to exceed 6 mg/kg/dose. In most cases, it is not necessary to exceed individual doses of 4 mg/kg or a dosing frequency of once or twice daily.
Intramuscular or Intravenous: 1 to 2 mg/kg/dose every 6 to 12 hours
Continuous infusion: 0.05 mg/kg/hour; titrate dosage to clinical effect

How is furosemide available?

Furosemide is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Solution, injection: 10 mg/mL (2 mL, 4 mL, 10 mL)
  • Solution, Injection [preservative free] 10 mg/mL (10 mL)
  • Solution, Oral: 8 mg/mL (5 mL, 500 mL), 10 mg/mL (60 mL, 120 mL)
  • Tablet, Oral: 20 mg, 40 mg, 80 mg

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of furosemide, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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