Furosemide (Lasix)

1.      Action


A.      It promotes urine flow by mechanisms that increase sodium excretion from the kidney.

B.      It is used to treat edema, hypertension, acute pulmonary edema, and chronic renal failure.


2.      Possible Adverse Reactions


A.      Dehydration.

B.      Electrolyte imbalance.

C.      Orthostatic hypotension.

D.      Nausea or vomiting.

E.      Lethargy.

F.       Ringing in the ears.

G.      Dizziness.

H.      Drowsiness.

I.         Hypokalemia.

J.       Hypocalcemia.

K.       Hypomagnesium.


3.      General Education


A.      Assess for fluid retention and report to physician.

B.      Weigh daily for early detection of fluid retention.

C.      Assess for and report signs of dehydration (marked thirst, excessive urine output, dark-colored urine, constipation).

D.      Assess for and report any signs and symptoms of hypokalemia (muscle weakness, apathy, cramps, anorexia, vomiting, and fatigue).

E.      Eat a high-potassium diet (bananas, citrus fruits, potatoes, tomatoes, squash, nuts, dates, etc.).

F.       Monitor serum electrolytes.

G.      Eat a low-sodium diet to decrease retention of fluid.

H.      Increased or decreased fluid intake, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or high temperatures can influence resistance of medication.

I.         Expect an increase in urine output. (Take diuretic in the morning if not ordered otherwise, to decrease need to urinate at night.)

J.       Limit or avoid alcohol, barbiturates, and strenuous exercise in hot weather because of increased rise of orthostatic hypotension.

K.       Report adverse reactions to physician.

L.       Change positions slowly to prevent postural hypotension.

M.     Report signs of Lasix toxicity (ringing in the ears, severe abdominal pain, sore throat, fever).

N.      Different brands of furosemide (Lasix) sometimes produce varying degrees of effectiveness.

O.      Do not switch brands indiscriminately.