Bumetanide

Brand names of bumetanide

  • Bumex
  • Burinex

A prescription drug, bumetanide is a strong diuretic or water pill that prevents accumulation of excessive salt in the body by releasing it through urination. In other words, bumetanide results in profuse urination or dieresis, as the medication prevents the kidney from retaining excessive fluid. This medication works by blocking the re-absorption of sodium as well as fluid from the tubules of the kidney. Bumetanide belongs to a class of water pills or diuretics known as 'loop' diuretics. It may be noted that bumetanide is a very potent diuretic as this can be gauged from the fact that one mg of this drug is equivalent to approximately 10 mg to 20 mg of torsemide and 40 mg of furosemide.

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Bumetanide has a potent diuretic effect and its use can result in profuse loss of body water causing dehydration and loss of electrolytes, for instance, sodium, magnesium, potassium and calcium. Hence, people taking bumetanide require very careful medical monitoring. The Food and Drug Administration approved the sale and use of bumetanide in 1983.

Things you need to tell your physician before taking bumetanide

As in the instance of commencing treatment with most new drugs, you ought to take a number of precautions before you start taking the 'loop' diuretic bumetanide. First and foremost, before beginning treatment with this medication, tell your doctor if you have any allergic reactions to bumetanide, any of its ingredients or if you have any additional allergies. You must be aware that bumetanide may enclose some specific active ingredients that may cause allergic reactions or other health problems. Hence, talk to your pharmacist for further details in this regard. In case you are not sure about the ingredients contained by bumetanide, seek help from your pharmacist.

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Before you start using bumetanide, tell your doctor or pharmacist regarding your entire medical history, particularly if you have kidney and/ or liver ailments, gout and irritation while passing urine. Bumetanide has the potential to affect the blood sugar level in patients who also have diabetes. Therefore, it is important to check your blood sugar levels at regular intervals or as directed by your doctor and share the results with your doctor. In case of anomalies, you doctor might require adjusting your diabetes medications or your diet. In addition, bumetanide has the potential to lower the potassium level in the bloodstream. Therefore, your doctor may ask you to include foods that are rich in potassium content in your diet. For instance, he may suggest that you take bananas, orange juice and other potassium-rich foods. Alternately, your doctor my also prescribe potassium supplements with a view to avoid loss of potassium from the body. Hence, it is advisable that your talk to your doctor for further details on this aspect.

People using bumetanide are likely to feel dizzy and hence, they should avoid undertaking any job, such as driving a vehicle or operating a machine, which requires alertness till they are sure about the effects of the drug on them. People taking this medication should also restrict consumption of alcoholic beverages, which are known to increase the blood pressure considerably. Taking this medication for some time may result in some side effects, such as vomiting, diarrhea and sweating. In case you are enduring frequent vomiting or prolonged diarrhea contact your doctor immediately and report the problems. In fact, the older patients are more susceptible to the side effects of bumetanide, particularly loss of water and mineral from the body as well as dizziness. Hence, they should adopt extra caution while taking this medication. It is important for people taking this medication to strictly follow their doctor's instruction regarding the amount of fluid they can drink in a day.

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Women who intend to start taking bumetanide for their health condition should tell their doctor if they are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. It must be underlined that this medication should never be used during the first three months of pregnancy. In addition, pregnant women should be given bumetanide only when it is absolutely necessary for their health and when all other diuretics have failed to yield the desired results. Prior to taking this drug, women should talk to their doctor regarding the benefits and risks of using bumetanide. Although it is not know whether bumetanide passes onto the breast milk, new mothers should consult their doctor prior to breast feeding.

In case you need to undergo a surgery or a dental operation, tell your surgeon or dentist that you are taking bumetanide. In addition, also tell them regarding all the prescription, non-prescription (over-the-counter) drugs, herbal products, dietary supplements and minerals being taken by you currently.

Usage

The diuretic bumetanide is used to lessen the excessive accumulation of fluid, especially water and salts, in the body. Usually, excessive accumulation of fluid in the body results in conditions such as edema (swelling of the organs) and breathlessness, especially in people enduring heart ailments, kidney troubles and cirrhosis of liver.

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In addition, bumetanide may also be prescribed for people suffering from high blood pressure (hypertension) - particularly those who have had a heart failure, have excessive fluid accumulation in the lungs or are suffering from kidney ailments. By lowering the blood pressure, bumetanide helps to prevent heart attacks, strokes and kidney diseases.

How to use bumetanide

The 'loop' diuretic bumetanide is an oral medication and should be taken once or twice every day or according to your doctor's prescription. It is advisable not to take this medicine four hours prior to going to bed as this may compel you to get up and urinate several times disturbing your sleep.

The dosage of bumetanide completely depends on the patient's medical condition as well as his/ her response to therapy with the medication. In the case of aged people, the doctor may start with a lower dosage with a view to lessen the hazards of using the medication (side effects). Bumetanide should never be taken in excess or too frequently than directed by your doctor. Taking this medication in excess or too often will not help to improve your condition sooner, but may cause several side effects. Therefore, always take this medication strictly as per your doctor's advice.

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Bumetanide should be taken on a regular basis in order to obtain the utmost benefit from using this medication. In order to help you to remember the time when you should take this medication, take it at the same time every day. Even if your symptoms fade or you start feeling better, do not discontinue the medication. It is important to take bumetanide for the full regimen advised by your doctor. It may be noted here that majority of the people who have high blood pressure and need bumetanide usually do not feel unwell.

In case your condition remains the same or deteriorates even after taking bumetanide for a while, contact your doctor and tell him/ her about your problems. In the event of taking bumetanide to regulate your blood pressure, tell your doctor or healthcare provider if your blood pressure remains high or goes up further.

Remember, an overdose of bumetanide may result in a severe and profuse loss of water from the body. In addition, it may also reduce the volume of electrolyte in the body, cause dehydration, decrease the volume of blood as well as cause circulatory collapse increasing the risks of vascular thrombosis (blocked artery) and embolism (obstruction of a blood vessel by an embolus). If you endure depletion of electrolytes you will experience vomiting, debility, dizziness, lethargy, cramps, anorexia (loss of appetite) and mental confusion. Electrolyte depletion may be treated by replacing the fluid and electrolyte that have been lost. This can be done by cautious examination of the urine as well as serum electrolyte levels in the body and electrolyte output.

How bumetanide works

Bumetanide is a 'loop' diuretic that works on a particular part of the kidney - precisely speaking the loop of Henle. It works to excrete the excessive fluid - salt and water - that has accumulated in the body through profuse urination.

Side effects

Serious
Common
  • muscle cramps
  • minor potassium depletion can cause mild weakness and rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • fluid depletion can cause dizziness when the patient rises from a sitting or lying position
Less common

Possible interactions

As in the case of any other medication, bumetanide is also known to interact with certain medications, especially herbal products and/ or minerals, foods and alcoholic beverages. Hence, people taking this medication/ diuretic should avoid taking them concurrently. For instance, the herb ginseng has the aptitude to raise the blood pressure as well as diminish the effects of bumetanide. Therefore, it is advisable that people taking bumetanide should avoid using ginseng. In addition, certain herbs such as saw palmetto, hawthorn, goldenseal, ma huang and licorice, also increase the blood pressure and, hence, should be avoided while taking bumetanide. On the other hand, taking garlic and calcium may facilitate in lowering blood pressure, while dandelion root possesses diuretic properties. Therefore, it is important for people taking bumetanide to talk to their doctor before they add any herbal product or mineral to their list of medications.

People who are taking the 'loop' diuretic bumetanide should restrict salt in their diet. Conversely, they might require a potassium diet. Since consumption of alcohol beverages is known to rapidly increase blood pressure, people taking bumetanide should keep away from it. In fact, consumption of alcoholic beverages while taking this medication may result in orthostatic hypertension (a type of hypotension wherein an individual's blood pressure rises abruptly). In addition, occurrence of unrelated ailments may also blunt the effect of this medication and result in adverse effects. Therefore, seek immediate medical help if you have diarrhea or vomiting while taking bumetanide.

Discontinuation

Like most other medications, bumetanide should not be discontinued abruptly, but following consultations with your doctor. In case you have to undergo a major surgery, you should stop taking this medication five to seven days prior to the surgery. Talk to your doctor regarding further details in this regard.

Storage instructions

Bumetanide should always be stored at room temperature and in a dark and dry place. Since this medication should always be kept away from moisture, it is advisable not to store bumetanide in your bathroom. In addition, it is important to keep all medications in such a place that is beyond the reach of children and pets.

All medications that become outdated or are no longer required should be discarded in a proper and safe way. Never dispose of the medications by flushing them down the toilet or pouring them into the drain, unless you are instructed otherwise. If necessary, consult your pharmacist or the neighbourhood disposal company regarding the safe and appropriate manner to discard the products you do not require any more.

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