This belongs to the group of medicines known as Loop diuretics. Diuretics are often referred to as water tablets. Lasix is used to treat edema (water retention) due to heart failure. If the heart becomes less efficient at pumping blood around the body, fluid leaks out of the blood vessels causing swelling in the tissues of the lungs, feet or ankles. Lasix prevents the build up of fluid by increasing the amount of urine produced by the kidneys.
Lasix can also be used to treat a condition called oliguria. Oliguria is when the body only produces small amounts of urine, often caused by kidney problems. Lasix is sometimes used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure).
Before Taking Lasix
Before taking Lasix make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- if you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding
- if you suffer from any liver or kidney problems
- if you suffer from hypotension (low blood pressure), porphyria (blood disorder) or diabetes
- if you suffer from prostate problems or have problems urinating (passing water)
- if you suffer from hypokalaemia (low blood potassium)
- if you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or any other medicine
- if you are taking any other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal or complementary medicines
How to Take Lasix
- Always read the manufacturer's information leaflet, if possible, before beginning treatment.
- Take Lasix exactly as directed by your doctor or pharmacist.
- Lasix will make you urinate (pass water) more often, so your doctor or pharmacist will usually advise you to take your dose in the morning so you will not need to get up in the night. If you take more than one dose per day, take the last dose before 6pm in the evening.
- If you miss a dose of Lasix take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is after 6pm in the evening skip the missed dose and continue taking it at the usual times. Never take two doses at the same time.
- Lasix is for you. Never give it to others, even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
- Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else has taken an overdose of Lasix contact your doctor or go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital at once. Always take the container with you, if possible, even if it is empty.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Before taking any 'over-the-counter' medicines, check with your pharmacist which medicines are safe for you to take alongside Lasix.
- Keep your regular appointments with your doctor so that your progress can be monitored.
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption. Too much alcohol can cause a big drop in blood pressure and may cause you to faint.
- It is important to follow any dietary advice that you have been given by your doctor. If you are overweight, your doctor may want you to follow a weight reducing diet.
- Diuretics help you to lose water. Sometimes you may lose too much and become dehydrated, leaving you feeling thirsty and your skin looking and feeling dry.
- Lasix can occasionally cause the urine flow to stop in men. If this happens you should let your doctor know immediately.
- Lasix may cause a dry mouth. If you experience this try chewing sugar-free gum, sucking sugar-free sweets or pieces of ice. If a dry mouth becomes too troublesome, discuss the problem with your doctor or pharmacist.
- Lasix may cause you to experience faintness or dizziness when getting up from a sitting or lying position. Getting up slowly should help. If this becomes too troublesome ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
- Before having any kind of surgery, including dental and emergency treatment, tell the surgeon, dentist or doctor that you are taking Lasix.
- If you have diabetes Lasix may affect your blood sugar levels. Test your urine or blood regularly and report any extreme changes to your doctor.
- Lasix may cause your skin to become more sensitive to sunlight than it is usually. Try to avoid bright sunlight and sunbeds or use a sun cream higher than factor 15 until you know how your skin reacts.
As well as their useful effects all medicines can cause unwanted side effects. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side effects continue or become troublesome:
- Feeling sick, tummy upset, gout (painful or stiff joints), light-headedness, dry mouth, muscle cramps, skin rashes or headache.
- Hearing problems, buzzing or ringing in the ears.
- This medicine can occasionally cause you to lose too much potassium or sodium from the body, which are essential for good health. Severe sickness and diarrhea may increase potassium or sodium loss. If you experience this contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice as soon as possible.
- Signs of excessive potassium loss are dryness of the mouth, increased thirst, irregular heartbeat, mood changes, muscle cramps or pain, feeling or being sick, unusual tiredness or weakness, a weak pulse or loss of appetite.
- Signs of excessive sodium loss are confusion, convulsions (fits), difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle cramps and unusual tiredness or weakness.
If you experience any other worrying or troublesome symptoms, which you think may be due to this medicine, discuss them with your pharmacist.
How to store Lasix
- Keep out of reach of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct light and heat.
- Never keep out of date or unwanted medicines. Discard them safely out of the reach of children or take them to your local pharmacist who will dispose of unwanted medicines for you.