Loop diuretics – commonly referred as water pills, are taken to bring down extra build-up of fluids. Retention of liquids is often the root cause for hepatic disorders, congestive cardiac failures, renal dysfunction and a few other clinical conditions. One of the prime functions of diuretic drugs is they work on your renal system; the end goal is to enhance the discharge of urine. Furosemide is a widely prescribed water pill. It is mostly used for the case management of hypertension or high blood pressure. But, can this drug lead to a drop in your appetite level? It becomes important to know more on this before starting your dosage plan.

Hypertension can slowly become a serious medical condition. High level of blood pressure only means there is a bigger load on your heart muscles as well as blood vessels. If left untreated, it can impair the normal functioning of essential organs like your heart, kidneys and brain. Your caregiving team is likely to recommend a treatment plan which includes many aspects to it; key among them – a workout plan, eating a diet that has less salt and fats in it, pursuing a stress-free lifestyle and strictly adhering to a dosage plan. Antihypertensive medications are available in many forms. One among such meds is furosemide – a water pill or a diuretic med.

Weight loss and diet plays an important role in enhancing the efficacy of your treatment of hypertension. Prior to starting your dosage plan, tell your doctor if you have any prior ailments. Those who have problems such as drop in blood pressure (hypotension), frequent episodes of dehydration, decreased level of potassium (a condition called as hypokalemia), hearing problems (such as tinnitus), etc., must keep their caregiver informed of such conditions. Those who are living with urinary problems like anuria (inability or difficulties to pass urine), urinating problems due to an enlarged prostate, narrowing of urethra or difficulties to fully empty their bladder are advised to keep away from this drug.

Furosemide is sold in two distinct forms – namely, a suspended (liquid) version and as a pill. The suspended form needs to be measured properly. It is unsafe to use a spoon or a ladle from the kitchen. Instead, always use the dropper or cup provided along with the pack. If you are taking the tablet form of furosemide, it is not a good practice to bite the pill. Always take the tablet along with a glass of water, to swallow it in full. You need to know that this drug does not offer a complete cure from hypertension; instead, it is used largely to keep blood pressure levels under control.

Does furosemide cause loss of appetite?

You may be advised to monitor your blood sugar level on a periodic basis. This drug is likely to cause a significant drop in appetite level. Reduction in appetite is not a serious concern. In most cases, users of furosemide have seen this side effect disappear on its own; over a period of time, you may eat normally. However, if you are not eating well or if you experience a different sense of taste, your caregiver / pharmacist must be made aware of such changes.

In some instances, users may also lose their appetite due to abdominal conditions such as nausea, diarrhea or vomiting. You may witness dehydration due to incessant spells of vomiting or indigestion / diarrhea. Your diet may need to include several glasses of water. It is important to know how many additional glasses of water you may need to drink during the course of your medication plan.

It is important to note that the aforesaid side effects / discomforts do not make a complete list. So, it is likely to experience discomforts that are not listed here. Upon encountering unknown side effects, residents of US are advised to call 911 or establish contact with the helpline of FDA. Canadian residents may contact Health Canada or reach a poison control center on an emergency basis.

Safe use of furosemide

It is important to follow all the instructions of your treating doctor. In case of hypertension, adults are advised to take a dose of upto 40 mg; this dose is often taken twice within a 24-hour timeline. However, for the treatment of edema – the typical dose for adults is 20 mg. This dosage form is increased upto 60 mg in some very rare cases – where the build-up of fluids is more pronounced. In case of children with fluid retention problems, the dose is based on their bodyweight. Your child’s doctor (pediatrician) may usually prescribe upto 2 mg per kg of your child’s weight. In most cases, the dosage is never made to exceed 5 mg per kg. Above all, it is essential to store this med at room temperature; store it away from the reach of children as well as pets.

If you have missed a dose of furosemide, it is an unsafe practice to take a double dose of this drug. Instead, it is recommended to skip the dose and go for the next dose as usual. People who took a double dose (to make up for the dose they missed) experienced dizziness, drowsiness as well as inflammation of oral organs (like lips, gums or tongue), etc. On the other hand, if you have missed a few doses, it is highly recommended to consult with your pharmacist to set the dosage plan in a proper order. Dosages of furosemide can make you more sensitive to sunlight. So, never leave your workplace or home without using proper protective gear or a sun lotion / skin cream. Last but not least, it is unsafe to use tanning booths or sun lamps while you are taking furosemide.

In sum, furosemide is most likely to trigger a marked decrease in appetite. But, such a drop is not an acute condition. Users may resume eating well once their body gets used to the active chemicals present in this drug. If you are not eating well or if a decreased appetite results due to changes in the sense of taste, talk to your physician / pharmacist about such conditions. The good news is – loss of appetite may go away within a few days’ time. But, if eating problems persist for long, talk to your caregiving team on an urgent mode.

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