Furosemide - oral

Patient Medicine Information
Why do I need this medicine?
Furosemide is used to treat water retention caused by heart failure, kidney or liver disease. Water retention may be noticed as swelling of the feet, ankles, lower leg and hands, or shortness of breath. For this reason, it is commonly known as a "water pill".

This medicine is also used to treat high blood pressure.
How do I take this medicine?
Take Furosemide exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.

You may take this medicine with or without food. If you experience stomach discomfort with Furosemide, take it with food. Try to take it at the same time each day.

Furosemide is available as a tablet or oral solution.

If you are taking the oral solution, shake the bottle well before you take it to ensure that the liquid is evenly mixed. Use the measuring spoon or cup provided to measure your dose.

You may need to pass urine more often while being treated with Furosemide. Take this medicine early in the day, preferably in the morning. If your doctor has told you to take it twice a day, take the last dose in the late afternoon. This is to prevent you from waking up frequently at night to go to the toilet.

Furosemide must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by your doctor.
What should I do if I have forgotten to take this medicine?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.

DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.

If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
When should I not use this medicine?
Do not take Furosemide if you ever had an allergic reaction (e.g. rashes, breathlessness, swollen eyes) to this medicine or to sulfonamides or any sulfonamide-related medicines such as sulfadiazine.

Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
  • unable to pass urine
  • severe kidney disease
  • Addison's disease (a rare disorder where the adrenal glands produce insufficient amounts of certain hormones)
  • low electrolyte levels e.g. potassium, sodium
  • dehydration
  • low blood pressure
  • severe liver disease e.g. cirrhosis
  • porphyria (an inherited disorder that causes skin or nervous system abnormalities)
as Furosemide may not be suitable for you.

Do not take this medicine if you are currently taking potassium supplements or certain water pills or medicines for water retention e.g. amiloride, spironolactone.
What should I take note of while taking this medicine?
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
  • prostate or bladder problems
  • diabetes
  • gout (high uric acid level in the blood)
  • liver disease
  • kidney disease
  • low blood volume
  • low protein in the blood
  • other blood problems
  • high level of calcium in the blood
  • other conditions that risk for a drop in blood pressure
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Furosemide to the elderly. Elderly people may be more sensitive to the side effects.

If you are going to have diagnostic tests (e.g. urine tests, imaging procedure that uses radiocontrast), inform your doctor that you are taking Furosemide.

Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?

Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
  • Routine tests (e.g. kidney function, electrolyte levels, blood glucose) may be done while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
  • Your blood pressure may rise or fall to unsafe levels without you noticing it. Monitor your blood pressure regularly during treatment.
  • Regular monitoring for signs and symptoms of blood problems and liver damage may also be needed.
What lifestyle changes can I make to improve my blood pressure?

Regular exercise and eating a healthy diet will help control your blood pressure and improve your overall health. Engage in physical activity like walking for at least 30 to 60 minutes on most days of the week. If you have not exercised for a long time, start with light exercises such as slow walks. Speak to your doctor about what type of exercise would be suitable for you. Follow a healthy diet plan by eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products and reduce your intake of foods high in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. Cutting down on deep-fried foods and using less salt when cooking can kick-start your healthy diet.

If you smoke, you should try to quit. Smoking is harmful to your blood pressure, heart and overall health. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about ways to stop your smoking habit.
What side effects could I experience?
Furosemide may cause dizziness or blurred vision. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert or need to see clearly.

This medicine may cause your blood pressure to fall suddenly when you get up from a sitting or lying down position and you may feel giddy. To minimise this problem, stand up slowly.

You may need to pass urine more often while you are being treated with Furosemide. As your body adjusts to the medicine, this urination effect should also decrease.

Furosemide may also make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Apply sunscreen when going outdoors and avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight and UV lamps.

Other side effects include any of the following: headache, thirst, bowel problems, fatigue, nausea, dry mouth, diarrhoea, constipation, and vomiting.

Some side effects may be serious although they are not common. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
  • rashes, breathlessness, swelling of the face, eyes or mouth
  • rashes with peeling of the skin or blistering of the lips, mouth or eyes accompanied by fever
  • pain or difficulty in passing urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine
  • chest pain, irregular heartbeat, nausea, vomiting, weakness
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Can I take this with other medicines?
Do not take Furosemide with the following medicines:
  • sulfonamide or sulfonamide-containing antibiotics e.g. sulfadiazine
  • potassium supplements
  • other water pills or medicines for water retention e.g. amiloride, spironolactone
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
  • medicines for high blood pressure e.g. aliskiren, hydralazine
  • NSAIDs (medicines for pain and inflammation) e.g. indometacin, ketorolac
  • medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizures) e.g. phenytoin
  • certain antibiotics e.g. vancomycin
  • lithium (medicine for mood disorders)
  • probenecid (medicine for gout [high uric acid level in the blood])
  • medicines for irregular heartbeat e.g. digoxin, amiodarone, flecainide
  • medicines for cancer e.g. cisplatin, methotrexate
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Furosemide.

Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements, and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Avoid alcohol.
How should I store this medicine?
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.

Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
This information is independently developed by MIMS based on furosemide - oral and is provided for your reference only. It is not a replacement for and should only be used in conjunction with full consultation with a licensed healthcare professional, the information provided by your pharmacist and/or the manufacturer of the medication. It may not contain all the available information you require and cannot substitute professional medical care, nor does it take into account all individual circumstances. Although great effort has been made to ensure content accuracy, we shall not be held responsible or liable for any claims or damages arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein, its contents or omissions, or otherwise. Copyright © 2024 MIMS. All rights reserved. Powered by MIMS.com
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