Drugs Q & A

Why Am I Taking Lasix But Not Peeing Much?

A diuretic refers to a medication that promotes diuresis, the increased production of urine. There are several categories of diuretics. All diuretics increase the excretion of water from the body, through the kidneys.

Commonly known as “water pills,” these drugs help your kidneys get rid of extra water and salt from your body through your urine. Because you have less total fluid in your blood vessels, like a garden hose that’s not turned on all the way, the pressure inside will be lower. This also makes it easier for your heart to pump.

What is Lasix?

Lasix (furosemide) is a loop diuretic (water pill) that is used alone or in combination with other medications to treat high blood pressure. Furosemide is used to treat edema (fluid retention; excess fluid held in body tissues) caused by various medical problems, including heart, kidney, and liver disease.

Lasix is in a class of medications called diuretics (‘water pills’). It works by causing the kidneys to get rid of unneeded water and salt from the body thereby preventing your body from absorbing too much salt. This allows the salt to instead be passed in your urine.

How long does Lasix take to work?

Lasix works by removing excess fluid from your body through your kidneys. It starts to work within an hour after you take it. And it takes about 2 hours for half of a dose of the drug to leave your body.

How should I take Lasix oral tablets?

Your doctor will explain how you should take furosemide oral tablets. They’ll also explain how much to take and how often. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions. Below are commonly used dosages, but always take the dosage your doctor prescribes.

Lasix comes as oral tablets that you’ll swallow.

It’s available in three strengths:

  • 20 milligrams (mg)
  • 40 mg
  • 80 mg

Lasix oral tablets meant for use by people don’t come in other strengths, such as 10 mg or 12.5 mg. If you’d like to know more about these strengths, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

If Lasix oral tablets don’t work well for you, your doctor may prescribe a different form of Lasix for you. They’ll recommend the furosemide strength and form that’s right for you.

Your doctor will tell you how much furosemide you can take in a day. Your dosage will vary depending on the condition you’re treating. You can take this drug once or twice a day, based on your condition.

It’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions for administering doses of furosemide. Doing so will best manage your condition and help you avoid side effects.

Your exact dosage of furosemide depends on:

  • the condition being treated
  • your age
  • other health conditions you have
  • other drugs you’re taking

Your doctor may start you taking a low dose of the drug to see how your body responds. Then, if you’re doing well with furosemide, your doctor may gradually increase your dose to get maximum benefits.

Should you drink a lot of water when taking Lasix?

You should ensure you drink enough water during any exercise and during hot weather when you are taking Lasix, especially if you sweat a lot. If you do not drink enough water while taking Lasix, you may feel faint or light-headed, or sick. This is because your blood pressure is dropping suddenly and you are dehydrating.

How long does Lasix make you pee?

Lasix usually makes you urinate more within 1 hour of taking the medication. This effect lasts 6 to 8 hours. Lasix works by blocking the absorption of sodium, chloride, and water from the filtered fluid in the kidney tubules, causing a profound increase in the output of urine (diuresis). 

Why Am I Taking Lasix But Not Peeing Much?

The onset of needing to pee following oral Lasix is within 1 hour, but the peak effect is in the 1st to 2nd hours, but the duration of Lasix’s effect is up to 6 to 8 hours. So I wouldn’t worry. Be sure to stay hydrated, and follow up with your doctor if you have signs of dehydration, such as extreme thirst, headache, dizziness, urination that is dark yellow (like straw or darker).

Can Lasix cause bladder problems?

Studies have shown that in patients with severe symptoms of urinary retention (because of bladder emptying disorders, prostatic hyperplasia, urethral narrowing), the administration of Lasix can cause acute urinary retention related to increased production and retention of urine

What are the other side effects of Lasix?

Mild side effects of Lasix oral tablets that have been reported include:

•        constipation

•        diarrhea

•        dizziness

•        dry mouth

•        headache

•        nausea or vomiting

•        urinating more than usual

Mild side effects of many drugs may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. But if they become bothersome, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Lasix oral tablets can occur, but they aren’t common. If you have serious side effects from furosemide oral tablets, call your doctor right away. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number.

Serious side effects of Lasix oral tablets that have been reported include:

•        allergic reaction

•        dehydration (low fluid level)

•        imbalanced electrolyte levels, such as hyponatremia (low sodium level) and hypocalcemia (low calcium level)

•        liver problems, such as hepatic encephalopathy, which may cause jaundice or increased liver enzyme levels

•        orthostatic hypotension (low blood pressure that happens upon standing)*

•        pancreatitis (inflammation in the pancreas)

•        severe skin reaction*

•        tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and hearing loss*.


Dr. Oche Otorkpa PG Cert, MPH, PhD

Dr. Oche is a seasoned Public Health specialist who holds a post graduate certificate in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, an MPH, and a PhD both from Texila American University. He is a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. He authored two books: "The Unseen Terrorist," published by AuthorHouse UK, and "The Night Before I Killed Addiction."
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