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Furosemide (Lasix) or Bumetanide (Bumex)

How do these medicines work?

These medicines help decrease extra water in the body by increasing the amount of urine the body makes. They also treat high blood pressure and can be used to help a weak heart.

How should I give it?

Furosemide and bumetanide come in liquid and tablet form. It is usually given 1 to 3 times a day. Your child should be awake and alert when taking any medicine. Follow the checked instructions below:

___ If using the liquid form, draw up the correct amount of medicine in the medicine dropper or a syringe. Give a small squirt of the medicine inside the cheek. To avoid choking, let your child swallow each squirt before giving more.

___ For babies, you may want to mix the medicine with a small amount of formula or breast milk and give it with a bottle nipple before a feeding. Do not add medicine to a whole bottle because if your baby does not finish it, you will not know how much of the medicine was taken.

___ For children who cannot swallow pills:

  • Crush it between 2 spoons, inside a plastic bag, or in folded paper.
  • Mix the powder with a very small amount (about 1 teaspoon) of soft food, such as applesauce, chocolate syrup, ice cream, jelly, or yogurt.

Other instructions:

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Are there any precautions about food or other medicines?

Furosemide and bumetanide can be given with or without food or milk. These medicines can decrease the potassium level in the blood, so your child may need to have potassium blood tests.

There are two ways to replace potassium: by taking a supplement, or by making changes in the diet. Foods high in potassium include:

  • bananas
  • oranges
  • tomatoes
  • peppers
  • infant formula
  • whole milk
  • fresh meat, poultry, and fish

If your child is not taking a potassium supplement, be sure some of these foods are eaten every day. For information on other foods that contain potassium, ask the doctor, nurse or nutritionist.

What should I do if a dose is missed?

If one dose is missed, give it as soon as you remember within 2 hours. If more than 2 hours have passed, do not give it. Give the next dose at its regular time. Never give a double dose.

If your child vomits (throws up) within 30 minutes after a dose, give it again. If your child vomits after 30 minutes, do not repeat the dose.

Call the clinic if your child misses or vomits two doses in a row.

What are the side effects?

  • dry mouth
  • increased thirst
  • headache
  • skin sensitive to the sun
  • nausea (upset stomach)
  • vomiting (throwing up)

To prevent sunburn, use sunscreen, a hat, and protective clothing when outdoors.

When should I call the clinic?

  • continued dry mouth
  • continued thirst
  • no urine for more than 8 hours
  • throwing up
  • dizziness or fainting
  • develops a rash

What else do I need to know?

Store all medicines in their original container and away from direct sunlight or heat. Do not store in humid places such as the bathroom. Keep them out of children's reach, locked up if possible.

You and your child should know the names of all the medicines he or she is taking. Share this information with anyone involved in your child's care. Please remember to bring the medicine container when your child comes to the clinic or Emergency Department.

Before giving the first dose, read the label. Be sure it is what was prescribed. After a refill, if the medicine looks different to you, ask your pharmacist about it before giving it.

Always make sure you have enough medicine on hand. Each time you refill your prescriptions, check to see how many refills are left. If no refills are left the pharmacy will need 2 or 3 days to contact the clinic to renew the prescription.

Check the label and expiration date before giving each dose. Ask your pharmacist what to do with outdated or unused medicines. If there is no "take-back" program, empty them into the trash.

An overdose of furosemide or bumetanide is very dangerous. If too much or the wrong kind of medicine is taken, call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. If your child is unconscious or has a seizure, call 911.

Questions?

This is not specific to your child but provides general information. If you have any questions, please call the doctor, nurse or pharmacist.


Last reviewed 8/2015 

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Family Resource Center library, or visit www.childrensmn.org/educationmaterials.

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