Basics of Taking Furosemide
Furosemide is a very powerful medicine, so using it too much may result in a serious mineral, salt or water loss. That’s why all patients should be closely monitored by their doctors when undergoing this treatment. When they experience such signs as muscle weakness and cramps, thirst or confusion, they need to go to the hospital at once.
Why Furosemide Is Taken
This medicine is taken by people to decrease edema if it’s caused by such health conditions as liver and kidney diseases, heart problems and others. Its intake helps them lessen such unwanted symptoms as swelling of legs and arms, shortness of breath and others. Sometimes, Furosemide is prescribed to treat hypertension, thus, helping patients prevent kidney problems and heart diseases. It belongs to a group of drugs called water pills or diuretics, and it means that it causes the body to produce more urine to get rid of extra salt and water. Some doctors also prescribe this potent medication to reduce the levels of calcium in the blood.
Furosemide should be taken by patients by mouth, usually 1-2 times a day, either with or without food. You should take it within four hours before your bedtime to avoid the necessity to get up to urinate at night. Your dosage must be based on your personal tolerance, age and health condition. Children are prescribed with regular doses based on their body weight, while older patients start with lower doses to reduce their risk of having unwanted side effects.
Mild and Serious Side Effects
Some patients who take Furosemide may develop the following mild side effects:
Headaches and dizziness;
Blurred vision and lightheadedness.
That’s because their bodies get used to its intake, but if any of these signs worsen, it’s necessary to call doctors. To avoid the risk of lightheadedness and dizziness, you should get up slowly from lying and sitting positions. Most patients who undergo this treatment don’t develop any side effects at all. However, if you notice the following rare and serious symptoms, you need to get emergency medical help:
Muscle cramps and weakness;
Dehydration and unusual tiredness;
Severe dizziness and confusion;
Drowsiness and fainting;
Nausea and vomiting;
Irregular heartbeats and allergies;
Unusual thirst and dry mouth;
Urine and hearing changes;
Numbness and swelling in legs or arms;
Yellow eyes and stomach pain.
Possible Furosemide Contraindications
Before you start taking this potent drug, inform doctors about possible allergic reactions and other health conditions, such as liver and kidney problems, gout, lupus, inability to produce urine, diabetes and others. This medicine can make you more sensitive to direct sunlight, feel dizzy or drowsy and decrease your blood potassium levels. Finally, such medications as colestipol, sucralfate and cholestyramine may reduce correct absorption of Furosemide, so these drug interactions should be avoided.