Lasix is the brand name for furosemide, an extremely powerful diuretic that is prescribed for fluid retention or oedema in people with congestive heart failure, liver diseases, or disorders of the kidneys such as nephrotic syndrome. In addition it can also be used to treat hypertension, or high blood pressure.
Lasix is a “loop diuretic” (commonly known as a “water pill”) which works by means of inhibiting salt production from being absorbed, thus enabling the excess salt to be passed in urine.
Generic Lasix should not be used if the patient is unable to urinate; in addition the patient must inform his or her doctor before Lasix is prescribed if he or she has the following; urinary problems, cirrhosis of the liver and other liver diseases, kidney diseases, any kind of electrolytic imbalance, an enlarged prostate gland, a high cholesterol count, lupus, diabetes (type 1 or 2) or any kind of allergic reaction to sulfa drugs. Also it is important for the patient to inform his or her doctor regarding the possible prescription of Lasix if he or she has had a recent MRI scan, or any type of scan that has involved the intravenous injection of radioactive dyes into the bloodstream.
Exposure to Lasix on an extended basis may cause irreversible loss of hearing. However, patients with high blood pressure should continue to keep on taking the course of Lasix medication until its end, even if they feel fine. It is not known whether Lasix is harmful to unborn babies, however pregnant patients and those who are nursing mothers should inform their doctors, as furosemide can pass into breast milk and may harm the baby. Lasix may also inhibit the production of breast milk in nursing mothers.
While Lasix is available in a colloidal liquid form, and as an intravenous injection, it is most commonly available in tablet form, in dosages of 20, 40 and 80 milligrams. Furosemide, as stated earlier, is the active ingredient in the tablet form of Lasix, the other constituents of which are lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide, talc, and starch. Its chemical name is 4-chloro-N-furfuryl-5-sulfamoyl anthranilic acid.
Lasix is a very fast acting drug, it takes on average an hour from administration to the onset of the diuretic effect in the patient, which can last up to 7 hours. The usual initial dose is, as stated earlier, between 20 and 80 milligrams. If necessary, the same dose can then be administered again after 6 to 8 hours. On average, a course of Lasix when prescribed orally in the treatment of oedema is expected to last 3 to 4 days.