What Are Lasix® Side Effects?

Adrien-Luc Sanders

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.

Blurred vision and light sensitivity are two potential side effects of taking Lasix.
Blurred vision and light sensitivity are two potential side effects of taking Lasix.

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.

Patients who are taking Lasix® may develop low blood pressure.
Patients who are taking Lasix® may develop low blood pressure.

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.

Ringing in the ears is a severe reaction to Lasix.
Ringing in the ears is a severe reaction to Lasix.

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.

Lasix is used to treat liver disease.
Lasix is used to treat liver disease.

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.

Extreme side effects of Lasix include no urination, which can suggest severe kidney dysfunction.
Extreme side effects of Lasix include no urination, which can suggest severe kidney dysfunction.

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.

If Lasix causes severe dehydration, nausea and vomiting could result.
If Lasix causes severe dehydration, nausea and vomiting could result.
Long-term Lasix use combined with aspirin can lead to aspirin toxicity.
Long-term Lasix use combined with aspirin can lead to aspirin toxicity.
Lasix side effects may include cramps if dehydration occurs.
Lasix side effects may include cramps if dehydration occurs.

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Discussion Comments

Ocelot60

@rundocuri- Your mother's doctor certainly should help her understand what to expect when taking Lasix, and how to know if she is having a serious side effect. If he doesn't, then she needs to consider getting a second opinion.

Rundocuri

My mother was told that she needs to start taking Lasix, and after reading the possible side effects, I am worried about her. Will her doctor monitor her for possible problems caused by the drug?

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