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.
Furosemide is a very potent medication. Using too much of this drug can lead to serious water and salt/mineral loss. Therefore, it is important that you are closely monitored by your doctor while taking this medication. Tell your doctor right away if you become very thirsty or confused, or develop muscle cramps/weakness. See also Side Effects section.
How to Use This Medication
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).