Lasix (furosemide) is used to treat edema, a symptom of cardiovascular disease (congestive heart failure), liver and kidney (including cirrhosis and nephrotic syndrome), and hypertension, either alone or in combination with other hypotensive drugs. Lasix tablets are taken orally, preferably in the morning. Do not consume alcohol during treatment. Use a potassium-rich diet to make up for any possible deficiencies.
The main active ingredient of Lasix pills is furosemide and inactive ingredients include the following compounds: talc USP, lactose monohydrate NF, magnesium stearate NF, starch NF, and colloidal silicon dioxide NF. By a chemical formula, the drug is 4-chloro-N-furfuryl-5-sulfamoylanthranilic acid. The medication is available as white tablets administered for oral use in dosages of 20, 40 and 80 mg. Lasix generic name is Furosemide. This substance is a white, odorless crystalline powder, practically insoluble in water and dilute acids, partly soluble in alcohol, and absolutely soluble in dilute alkali solutions.
Besides the oral tablet form, the drug comes as an oral solution and injection solution.
Lasix Mechanism of Action
The drug is intended to remove excess water from the human body. The kidney usually excretes sodium, chloride, water, and some other molecules, out of the blood and into the kidney tubules. This filtered fluid actually makes the urine. Most of the water, chloride, and sodium is reabsorbed into the blood before the filtered fluid becomes urine and goes out of the body.
Lasix acts by preventing the absorption of chloride and sodium, which causes more water to be filtered out by the kidney tubules, thereby causing a substantial increase in the urine output, also known as diuresis. The medication acts within one hour after oral administration and lasts from six to eight hours. After injection, the onset of action is only five minutes, and a diuresis lasts for about two hours. The medication’s diuretic effect may lead to the depletion of body water, chloride, sodium, and other minerals. That is why a patient needs to stay under medical supervision during the treatment.
Furosemide is administered to reduce excessive fluid in the body, also known as edema, caused by such conditions as kidney disease, liver disease, and heart failure. The pharmaceutical is known as a Lasix water pill that causes you to urinate more often. This way, your body removes extra water and salt. Sometimes, the medication is used to reduce high levels of calcium within the blood. The drug can help lessen the certain symptoms including swelling in your legs or arms and shortness of breath. This medication is also prescribed to remedy high blood pressure and helps to prevent heart attacks, strokes, and kidney problems.
Apart from the diseases mentioned above, Lasix can be also used to treat other conditions, such as:
- Accumulation of fluid as a symptom of chronic heart failure
- Fluid in the lungs as a result of chronic heart failure
- Excess fluid because of cirrhosis of the liver
- Edema with impeded kidney function
- Substantial water retention
Before you start the treatment, you should necessarily consult with your healthcare professional.
How to Take Lasix
The medication should be taken orally as directed by your medical advisor, regardless of food, usually one or two times a day. Do not take the drug within less than 4 hours before you go to bed, so that you wouldn’t have to get up to urinate. Lasix pills should be taken regularly in order to give you the most benefit from the drug. You should continue using the pharmaceutical even if you feel well. For instance, patients with high blood pressure may not feel sick at all.
If you are taking cholestyramine, Sucralfate, or colestipol, you should separate the time of their intake from Lasix by at least 2 hours, because these substances can impede the absorption of furosemide. When taking Lasix, you will urinate more often. Therefore, you may easily get dehydrated. Stick to your healthcare provider’s instructions regarding using potassium supplements or including enough potassium and salt in your diet.
Be aware that you may need regular blood tests, while undergoing Lasix treatment. Immediately inform your medical advisor if your condition worsens.
The dosage is determined depending on your age, diagnosis, and response to the treatment. In children, the dose also depends on weight. To reduce the likelihood of adverse effects, older adults are usually recommended to begin with Lasix 20 mg.
As a rule, the starting dosage is 20 to 80 mg taken as one dose. If necessary, the same dose can be repeated after 6 to 8 hours in order to obtain the required effect. In patients with hard edematous states, the Lasix dosage may be increased to 600 mg per day.
When the dosage that exceeds 80 mg per day is given for long periods of time, a patient should be under careful clinical observation.
Important Information About Taking Lasix
You should not exceed the recommended dose of Lasix. An overdose of furosemide may lead to irreversible hearing loss and other undesired reactions.
Before you start Lasix treatment, inform your healthcare professional if you have the following problems or conditions:
- Kidney disease
- Inability to urinate
- Bladder obstruction, enlarged prostate, or other urination problems
- An electrolyte imbalance, for example, low levels of magnesium or potassium in your blood
- Liver diseases including Cirrhosis
- High cholesterol or triglycerides
- Sulfa drug allergy
Your medical advisor should also know if you have recently had a magnetic resonance imaging or other kinds of scan that imply injections of a radioactive dye into your veins because a combination of contrast dyes and furosemide can cause harm to your kidneys.
Metolazone and Lasix
Before you start using Lasix, tell your healthcare professional if you also take metolazone. To ensure that taking both medications together will be safe, you may need special tests or dose adjustments. The combination of these substances may lead to reduced levels of magnesium, sodium, and potassium in your body.
Contact your medical advisor if you experience muscle cramps, dizziness, fast heart rate, thirst, urinating less than usual, or tired feeling. Also, it is crucial to monitor your blood pressure and kidney function regularly. Inform your healthcare provider about all the medications you take, including vitamins and supplements. Do not stop using them until you talk to your medical advisor and get his recommendations.
Missing a Dose
There are situations when Lasix is used only once, so in this case, you will not be on a dosing schedule. However, if you are using the pharmaceutical regularly, you should take the missed dose soonest. If it is almost time to take your next dose, skip the missed one. Do not take an additional pill to make up the missed dose.
The symptoms of an overdose may include heavy sweating, irritability, feeling thirsty or hot, mood changes, dry or wrinkled skin, sunken eyes, muscle cramps, seizures, weak pulse, fainting, or extreme weakness.
If you are suspecting an overdose, you should seek emergency medical attention.
Precautions while taking Lasix
- You should not take sucralfate within less than two hours before or after you take furosemide.
- As furosemide can make you dizzy, you should avoid getting up rapidly if you are sitting or lying.
- Keep yourself properly hydrated. Adhere to the recommendations of your health advisor about the kind and amount of drinks you should consume when taking Lasix.
- Combining alcohol with Lasix intake may cause side effects.
Side Effects of Furosemide
Together with its needed effects, furosemide may also lead to some unwanted reactions. Be aware that if any of these adverse effects occur, you may need medical attention. Talk to your medical advisor immediately, if you experience any of the conditions described below.
The following adverse effects are grouped by an organ system and ranked according to decreasing severity.
Gastrointestinal System Reactions
- Hepatic encephalopathy in patients having hepatocellular insufficiency
- Oral and gastric irritation
- Increased liver enzymes
Systemic Hypersensitivity Reactions
- Systemic vasculitis
- Harsh anaphylactic or anaphylactoid reactions
- Necrotizing angiitis
- Interstitial nephritis
Central Nervous System Reactions
- Tinnitus and hearing loss
- Blurred vision
- Aplastic anemia
- Hemolytic anemia
- Erythema multiforme
- Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
- Toxic epidermal necrolysis
- Acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis
- Drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms
- Bullous pemphigoid
- Exfoliative dermatitis
- Increase in triglyceride serum and cholesterol levels
- Orthostatic hypotension may be escalated by alcohol, narcotics, or barbiturates
- Muscle spasm
- Urinary bladder spasm
Some of the Lasix side effects may not require medical attention because they usually disappear as your body adjusts to the drug. Healthcare provider may recommend you how to reduce or prevent these side effects. However, if they persist, you should talk to your healthcare professional.
Lasix For Dogs
The pharmaceutical is also broadly used in veterinary. Lasix contains the active compound furosemide that acts by inhibiting the re-uptake of electrolytes in the kidneys increases urination and promotes the release of potassium. Lasix or generic furosemide is often prescribed by vets for the treatment of uremia, hyperkalemia, pulmonary edema, and also several other conditions.
If the treatment is undertaken during long periods of time, hydration and electrolyte levels should be controlled regularly, especially when the dogs being treated are also having vomiting or diarrhea.
The nursing implication means that the patient will have to urinate more often once the drug takes effect if the patient’s kidney function is not impaired.
In case of a patient’s low mobility or if he is urinary incontinent, then the nursing diagnosis may include the risk for falls or for skin breakdown, correspondingly. If a patient has a urinary catheter that has to deal with an increased urine output, then the risk for infection may also get higher. Apart from this, a catheter itself, especially the indwelling types, may lead to the nursing diagnosis of a changed body image.
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