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For patients who have edema, think about taking Furosemide because this medication can reduce your extra body fluid caused by such medical conditions as liver, kidney and heart diseases. Besides, its intake can reduce such symptoms as swelling in legs or arms and shortness of breath. Your doctor may prescribe you to take Furosemide if you have hypertension, as this is what helps prevent strokes and reduce hypercalcemia, high calcium levels in the blood. Remember that this medication is a diuretic, or water pill, so that its use will make you urinate more often to get rid of extra salt and water.

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Before you start taking Furosemide you should learn more about its proper use. The medication is taken orally either with or without food according to the directions given by your doctor (usually 1-2 times per day). Make sure that you dont take it at least 4 hours before going to bed to avoid the necessity to get up for urination.

The right dosage will be prescribed based on a set of important factors, such as your age, weight, health condition and individual response to this treatment. Its advisable to start with a lower dose to prevent the risk of having adverse effects, and you shouldnt increase it without consulting your physician. Furosemide should be taken on a regular basis if you want to get the most out of it (even if you already feel well).

Contraindications and Precautions

Before taking this medication, inform your doctor if you have:

- Any allergy because it may contain certain inactive components that cause allergic reactions.

- Lupus, kidney ailments, liver complications and inability to urinate.

- Diabetes because Furosemide may affect blood sugar levels (that must be checked regularly).

- Potassium loss because its intake also affects its level in the blood, and thats why you may be prescribed to take special supplements or add specific food products (bananas, oranges) into your diet.

There are other precautions that should be taken:

- Furosemide can make people more sensitive to the sun, so you should avoid sunlamps, tanning booths and direct sun exposure (use effective sunscreen and protective clothing).

- When taking it you can feel dizzy or have blurred vision, so driving a car is a poor idea, just like doing anything else that requires your clear vision, attention and alertness.

- Dont drink alcoholic beverages.

- When planning any surgery in the nearest future, tell your doctor about taking Furosemide.

When it comes to possible interactions with other meds, remember that colestipol, ucralfate and cholestyramine may reduce its absorption. Make a list of all the products you take, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins and herbal supplements, because your physician needs to know that, especially if this list contains lithium and ethacrynic acid.

Side Effects

As your body adjusts to Furosemide, you may experience mild headaches, light dizziness, blurred vision and some other unwanted symptoms. If any of them worsen or persist, you should tell your physician about it at once because its a sign of negative reactions.

The good news is that most patients who take this medication dont have any adverse effects at all. The worst thing is that taking Furosemide may lead to dehydration, weakness, muscle cramps, tiredness, fainting, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, etc., but they are quite rare. Stop taking it and go to the hospital as soon as you notice redness, swelling, ringing in the ears, numbness, hearing changes and pain because they say about a serious allergic reaction.

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