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. This drug is also used to treat high blood pressure. Lowering high blood pressure helps 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.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking furosemide and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Take this medication 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 this medication 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 this medication 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, your blood pressure readings remain high or increase).
Dizziness, lightheadedness, headache, or blurred vision may occur as your body adjusts to the medication. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position. Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. This medication may cause a serious loss of body water (dehydration) and salt/minerals. Tell your doctor right away if you have any of these unlikely but serious side effects: muscle cramps, weakness, unusual tiredness, confusion, severe dizziness, fainting, drowsiness, unusual dry mouth/thirst, nausea, vomiting, fast/irregular heartbeat. Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine), numbness/tingling/pain/redness/swelling of the arms/legs, hearing changes (such as ringing in the ears, temporary or permanent decreased hearing/deafness), stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
See also the How to Use section. Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval. Some products that may interact with this drug include: desmopressin, ethacrynic acid, lithium. Some products have ingredients that could raise your blood pressure or worsen your swelling. Tell your pharmacist what products you are using, and ask how to use them safely (especially cough-and-cold products, diet aids, or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen/naproxen). This medication may interfere with certain lab tests (such as thyroid hormone levels), possibly causing false test results. Make sure lab personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: fainting, severe weakness, a severe decrease in the amount of urine.