Lasix®, also known as furosemide, is a pharmaceutical diuretic used to treat unhealthy fluid retention, or edema, caused by various afflictions, such as nephrotic syndrome and liver disease. Lasix® can cause mild to severe side effects when used by patients with certain conditions, when mixed adversely with other medications, or when used incorrectly. One of the most frequent Lasix® side effects is increased urination, as the medicine reduces salt retention and drains fluids from the body.
Other side effects are directly related to dehydration. As excess water drains from the body, without proper hydration, patients can suffer multiple symptoms caused by fluid loss and low electrolytes. These symptoms can include weakness, dizziness, exhaustion, thirst, cottonmouth, and low blood pressure. More severe reactions range from cramps to nausea, irregular heartbeat, jaundice, and tinnitus or other hearing problems.
Some people suffer an allergic reaction to Lasix®. Swelling, rash, discoloration of the skin, itching, and respiratory problems can all be signs of an allergy to the drug. Some Lasix® side effects cause similar reactions, and require medical examination to determine their true cause. For example, breathing problems could be caused by either dehydration or medical allergies.
Most Lasix® side effects are short-term or mild. However, multiple side effects require immediate medical attention if they persist for an abnormal period of time. These reactions include — but are not limited to — diarrhea, vertigo, blurred vision, sensitivity to sunlight, and unexplained bleeding. Any strong or persistent allergic reaction or dehydration reaction can be dangerous to the patient. Many physicians advise seeking medical help and monitoring as soon as any symptoms or side effects occur, to determine the severity of the effects and any potential threat.
Long-term and life-threatening side effects can occur when combining Lasix® with other drugs. Long-term use, in conjunction with aspirin, can lead to aspirin toxicity, as greater quantities of the drug are retained in the blood. Use of Lasix® with aminoglycocide antibiotics can cause mild to severe hearing damage. Lasix® can also cause reactions to increased levels of lithium in the system, due to reduced lithium excretion.
Doctors advise caution when using Lasix® if a patient has kidney or liver disease, diabetes, gout, lupus, or a sulfa allergy. While these conditions may not prevent use, they may require adjustments in frequency and dosage. Routine medical examinations, blood tests, kidney tests, and liver tests while using the drug can generally pinpoint the onset of Lasix® side effects, determine their severity, and aid in determining both duration and possible treatment.