What Are the Side Effects of Mannitol?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 28 November 2019
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There are three types of side effects a person may develop from taking mannitol, a medication used for removing excess fluids from the body. Among them are mild side effects that can prove annoying but do not cause serious harm, such as a runny nose or increased urine output, and serious side effects, such as heart rate changes and chest pain. An individual may also have an allergic reaction to this medication, which could prove life threatening. Symptoms of such an allergic reaction could include rashes; swelling in the face, mouth, and throat areas; and difficulty breathing.

Most people can take mannitol without developing any noticeable side effects. When side effects do develop, however, they are often minor in nature. For example, they can include such issues as increased urination, nausea, and vomiting. A person also might develop a runny nose and chills when taking this medication. Additionally, some people may become dizzy or develop minor rashes as well.

In some cases, the side effects of mannitol are more severe and worrisome. They can include visual changes and dry mouth symptoms as well as an increase in thirst. Some people may also become confused, have trouble staying alert, feel week, or suffer muscle cramps. Chest pain and abnormal heart rate changes may develop as well. In addition, a person might feel faint when he is dealing with serious side effects of mannitol.


As with just about any type of medication, a person might suffer an allergic reaction when he is taking mannitol. Allergic reactions can include such symptoms as chest tightness and difficulty breathing, hives, and extreme itching. Swelling is also a sign of an allergic reaction when it affects the patient's face and mouth. Even the tongue may swell in such a case.

Since some side effects of mannitol can represent serious health issues, a person may do well to notify his doctor when he experiences any symptoms and learn whether or not he should continue using the medication. While some side effects may merely prove annoying, others could prove life threatening. For example, serious side effects such as chest pain and changes in heart rate can be particularly worrisome. Allergic reactions are often even more concerning and require immediate emergency medical attention. Though minor side effects may not represent serious health problems, it is usually best to report them to a doctor as well.


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What is the reason for development of fluid retention and weight gain after one dose of Mannitol mixed with cisplatin as a chemotherapy treatment?

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