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Lasix is a prescription drug that is taken orally and is used to treat conditions such as fluid retention. It is also used to alleviate swelling that is caused by kidney disease, liver disease, and congestive heart failure. The generic form of Lasix is furosemide, which is frequently used as a loop diuretic, otherwise known as a water pill.
How does Lasix work?
When Lasix is prescribed as a diuretic, it is generally to help prevent your body from absorbing too much salt. As a water pill, it forces the salt in your body to be expelled from your body through urine. When used to alleviate fluid retention and swelling, referred to as edema, it functions in much that same way and forces patients to urinate.
Who needs to take Lasix?
As with all prescription drugs, a physician decides who exactly needs Lasix and proper dosages for each patient. It is typically used to treat those with chronic heart failure that are suffering from fluid in the lungs.
It is also frequently used to help alleviate the fluid that occurs and accumulates throughout the body in chronic heart failure patients. Those that suffer from cirrhosis of the liver, and have fluid accumulation, are also prescribed Lasix to help them expel fluid through urination.
When patients have defective kidney function in conjunction with edema, they are often prescribed Lasix to aid in expelling unnecessary fluids in the body. Many people that suffer from high blood pressure also take Lasix to help remove salt from their body.
Lasix side effects
Since every human can react differently to any given drug, it is recommended to consult your physician if you experience any unusual and/or severe side effects. Many patients that have used Lasix have reported mild or no negative side effects. Keep in mind that Lasix is prescribed by your physician because he or she has deemed the benefits of Lasix to be greater than the risk of negative side effects.
However, as a body adjusts to Lasix, it is not uncommon to experience headaches and/or slight dizziness. Patients have also reported experiencing lightheadedness and/or blurred vision. These side effects should subside as your body adjusts to Lasix.
Severe side effects
The following side effects are unlikely but can occur in some individuals. A severe allergic reaction is rare but should be taken seriously if one occurs. Consult your physician immediately if you experience any of the following abnormal side effects after taking Lasix:
- A serious loss of water, commonly called dehydration, an escalated thirst, and/or an unusually dry mouth
- An irregular heartbeat or a fast heartbeat (tachycardia)
- Vomiting or severe, chronic nausea
- Vertigo (severe dizziness) and/or fainting
- Unusual drowsiness or confusion
- Weakness, abdominal pain, and/or muscle cramps
- Changes in hearing such as ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and/or decreased hearing
- Pain, numbness, tingling or swelling in the legs or arms
- Skin and/or eyes that are yellowing
- Swelling of the tongue, throat or face
- Itching or rashes and/or trouble breathing
What precautions should I take before taking Lasix?
As with taking any prescribed medication, it is advised to discuss your current medical conditions, current medications and herbal products, and your medical history with the prescribing physician. Before taking Lasix, it is advised to apprise your physician of any liver or kidney problems that you may have or have suffered in the past. You should also duly divulge lupus, gout or the inability to urinate.
Lasix, also known as furosemide, may affect blood sugar levels. If you are a diabetic, alert the prescribing physician as he or she may need to adjust your diet or exercise regime, and/or your diabetes medication(s).
Lasix may reduce potassium levels in blood. Consult your physician as to if you should add potassium-rich foods such as orange juice, potatoes, or bananas to your current diet. He or she may prescribe potassium supplements to take in conjunction with Lasix.
It is advised that you should avoid using sunlamps and tanning beds/booths when taking Lasix as it may affect your sensitivity to the sun. You should also wear protective garments and use ample sunscreen when outdoors.
Limit the use of cannabis and alcohol when taking Lasix. Since this medication can blur your vision or make you dizzy, alcohol and marijuana can exacerbate these side effects. Discuss any usage of medicinal marijuana with your physician before taking Lasix.
If you are to undergo physical or dental surgery or procedures, make the attending physician aware of the fact that you are taking Lasix prior to all procedures.
If you are pregnant or are planning a pregnancy, consult your prescribing physician concerning Lasix. This particular drug may affect lactate production and it passes into the breast milk of those that are breastfeeding.