Ethacrynic acid is a "water pill" (diuretic) that works in your kidneys to increase the amount of urine you make. This helps your body get rid of extra water. This medication is used to decrease swelling (edema) caused by conditions such as cancer, heart failure, liver disease, and kidney disease. This effect can help your kidneys work better and lessen symptoms such as trouble breathing and swelling in your ankles, feet, hands, or belly.This medication should not be used for infants.
How to use Ethacrynic Acid
Take this medication by mouth after a meal as directed by your doctor, usually once or twice a day. If you take this drug too close to bedtime, you may need to wake up to urinate. It is best to take this medication at least 4 hours before your bedtime. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about your dosing schedule.
The dosage is based on your medical condition, lab tests, and response to treatment. To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Some people may be directed to take this medication every other day or only when needed. Follow your doctor's directions carefully.
If your doctor has directed you to take this medication on a regular schedule, take it regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day.
Tell your doctor if you do not get better or if you get worse.
To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
This medication may cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Tell your doctor right away if you notice any symptoms of dehydration or electrolyte imbalance, including unusual dry mouth/thirst, unusual decreased urination, muscle cramps/weakness, slow/fast/irregular heartbeat, or confusion.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: easy bleeding/bruising, fainting, feeling of spinning (vertigo), hearing changes (such as ringing or fullness in the ears, decreased hearing/deafness), black/bloody stools, stomach/abdominal pain, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, signs of liver problems (such as nausea/vomiting that doesn't stop, loss of appetite, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine).
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking ethacrynic acid, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
Severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting may cause dehydration and cause you to feel lightheaded. Tell your doctor if you have severe diarrhea or vomiting. To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of fluids unless your doctor tells you not to.
This drug can lower certain salt/mineral levels (such as sodium, potassium) in your blood. Your doctor may tell you to use more salt, eat potassium-rich foods (such as bananas, orange juice), or take a potassium supplement. Ask your doctor for more details.
This medication may affect your blood sugar. If you have diabetes, check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially dizziness and water/mineral loss.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products have ingredients that could raise your blood pressure or worsen your swelling. Tell your pharmacist what products you are using, and ask how to use them safely (especially cough-and-cold products, diet aids, or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen/naproxen).
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
If you are taking this drug on a regular schedule and miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.