What Is a Furosemide IV?

Lee Johnson

A furosemide IV is an intravenous drip containing furosemide. Intravenous drips are liquid forms of medication injected directly into the veins for faster onset of action. Doctors should always supervise patients being treated with a furosemide IV because it can result in the depletion of sodium, chloride, and water from the body. The drug is given to increase the output of urine in patients suffering from edema, or fluid retention, which can be caused by a variety of different conditions, such as kidney failure, heart failure, or cirrhosis. Side effects of the treatment include dehydration, low blood pressure, and nausea.

Medications administered through an IV provide quick action or treatment to urgent medical conditions or complications.
Medications administered through an IV provide quick action or treatment to urgent medical conditions or complications.

Intravenous drips are a common method of administering many drug treatments. The drug is administered directly into the blood, via the veins, in a liquid form. The word intravenous literally means “into the vein,” and furosemide is one of many drugs that can be administered this way. Treatment through intravenous drip usually takes place in a hospital or doctor’s office because it requires supervision from a professional. Doctors push a needle into the vein and then connect the needle up to a bag which drips the medication into the patient’s blood.

An intravenous drip may be administered via veins in the arm if veins in the hand are unsuitable.
An intravenous drip may be administered via veins in the arm if veins in the hand are unsuitable.

Diuretic drugs are used in cases where patients have an excess of fluid in their body or swelling, known as edema. A furosemide IV is often used in these cases because the drug is a powerful diuretic. It works by preventing the salt and water filtered out of the blood by the kidneys from being absorbed into the blood again before urination. This leads to an increased amount of urine, because the blood isn’t able to reclaim the salt and water. The additional salt and water is therefore released as additional urine.

The body originally aims to keep this salt and water because certain levels of sodium, chloride, and water are required within the body. Patients being treated with a furosemide IV are therefore in danger of depleting these chemicals and other vital minerals within the body. Doctors must supervise treatment with a furosemide IV to ensure that too many vital chemicals are not lost during treatment.

The most common side effects of furosemide IV treatment include electrolyte depletion, dehydration, and low blood pressure. More serious, but less frequent, side effects include jaundice, photophobia, and tinnitus. Other possible rare side effects include dizziness, nausea, abdominal pain, and pancreatitis. Many of these side effects can be managed in order to allow treatment to continue.

An intravenous drip bag may be used to dilute the furosemide to the correct dosage.
An intravenous drip bag may be used to dilute the furosemide to the correct dosage.

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