Furosemide (Lasix) Nursing Considerations

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Hi guys, let's talk about Furosemide, also known as Lasix. This is an oral medication, but it also comes in other forms like IV or injection, as you can see here in the picture. So remember when we about the therapeutic class of a drug, this is how the drug works in the body. While the pharmacologic class is the chemical effect. So for furosemide, the therapeutic class is a diuretic while the pharmacologic class is a loop diuretic. Furosemide prevents the absorption of sodium and chloride in the kidneys and increases the excretion of water, sodium, chloride, magnesium, and potassium, specifically working in the loop of Henle, which is pictured here, and is why it's indicated for edema and hypertension. So, because Furosemide increases the excretion of water along with other electrolytes, we see some side effects that are related to this things like hypotension, dry mouth, excessive urination, and with this sometimes also comes dehydration. 

So let's take a look at a few nursing considerations for Furosemide. Use caution in patients with liver disease and also with the use of other hypertensives. Furosemide may cause electrolyte abnormalities. In fact, hypokalemia can increase the risk of digoxin toxicity. Furosemide can also cause metabolic alkalosis and arthritic symptoms. Be sure that while the patient is on this therapy, their kidney function is being monitored with renal panels, and do not administer Furosemide with aminoglycosides because of the risk of ototoxicity. And finally, teach the patient to take as directed, and it is probably best to advise them to not take at bedtime as this can create sleep disturbances for the patient having to get up and use the restroom. It is common that Furosemideis cautioned in patients who have Sulfa allergies; however, sulfur allergies are generally from sulfur antibiotics and there's actually no evidence that there's cross-reactivity with Sulfa antibiotics and non-antibiotic sulfonamides. So just ask your patient, which type of Sulfa medication created a reaction for them or an allergy before deciding if it's safe to give this patient Furosemide because most likely it is safe. That's it for Furosemide or Lasix. Now go out and be your best self today and as always happy nursing.
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