Pronounced (fyoor oh’ se mide) Brand Names:  Lasix®

Why is Furosemide Prescribed?

Furosemide is used alone or in combination with other medications to treat high blood pressure. Furosemide is used to treat edema (fluid retention; excess fluid held in body tissues) caused by various medical problems, including heart, kidney, and liver disease.

How Does Furosemide Work?

Furosemide is in a class of medications called diuretics (‘water pills’). It works by causing the kidneys to get rid of unneeded water and salt from the body into the urine.
Elderly man sitting in bed as he takes a furosemide medications

Common Side Effects of Furosemide

Furosemide may cause side effects. Tell your healthcare provider if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
  • Frequent urination
  • Blurred vision
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical treatment:
  • Fever
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Loss of hearing
  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Blisters or peeling skin
  • Itching
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes
Senior couple sit at the counter in the kitchen as they look at side effects of furosemide

Precautions of Furosemide

Plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Furosemide may make your skin sensitive to sunlight. Furosemide may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting when you get up too quickly from a lying position. This is more common when you first start taking hydrochlorothiazide. To avoid this problem, get up slowly, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up. Alcohol can add to these side effects. Furosemide is a strong diuretic (‘water pill’) and may cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. It is important that you take it exactly as prescribed by your provider. If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your provider immediately:
  • Decreased urination
  • Dry mouth
  • Thirst
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Muscle pain or cramps
  • Rapid or pounding heartbeats

More About Furosemide

When being prescribed any new medication, always inform your provider of all medications you are taking, including vitamins, minerals, and other dietary supplements, to avoid possible drug interactions.