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Ethacrynate sodium

Generic Name: ethacrynate sodium (eth-a-KRIN-ate soe-DEE-um)
Brand Name: Sodium Edecrin

Ethacrynate sodium is a strong "water pill" (diuretic). Using too much of ethacrynate sodium can lead to serious water and mineral loss. Therefore, it is important that you be monitored by your doctor. Promptly notify your doctor if you become very thirsty, have a dry mouth, become confused, or develop muscle cramps/weakness.


Ethacrynate sodium is used for:

Treating swelling due to congestive heart failure, liver problems, and severe kidney problems. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Ethacrynate sodium is a loop diuretic. It works by making the kidneys eliminate larger amounts of electrolytes (especially sodium and potassium salts) and water than normal (diuretic effect). It is useful for treating many conditions in which salt and water retention (eg, edema, swelling) is a problem.

Do NOT use ethacrynate sodium if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in ethacrynate sodium
  • you are unable to urinate
  • you are taking an aminoglycoside antibiotic (eg, gentamicin) or cephalosporin (eg, cephalexin)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using ethacrynate sodium:

Some medical conditions may interact with ethacrynate sodium. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have fluid in your abdomen, hearing problems, liver disease, diabetes, low urine output, high blood uric acid levels or gout, a blood disorder, kidney disease, lupus, heart problems or you have had a heart attack, or you are dehydrated

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with ethacrynate sodium. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (eg, ibuprofen, indomethacin) because the effectiveness of ethacrynate sodium may be decreased
  • Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (eg, captopril), aminoglycosides (eg, gentamicin), cephalosporin (eg, cephalexin), or salicylates (eg, aspirin) because serious side effects to the kidneys (decreased ability to urinate) and ears (hearing loss) may occur
  • Chloral hydrate or corticosteroids (eg, prednisone) because the risk of side effects, such as excessive sweating, rapid heart beat, stomach bleeding, and changes in blood pressure may be increased
  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), digoxin, or lithium because the side effects may be increased by ethacrynate sodium

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if ethacrynate sodium may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use ethacrynate sodium:

Use ethacrynate sodium as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Ethacrynate sodium is usually administered as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you are using ethacrynate sodium at home, carefully follow the injection procedures taught to you by your health care provider.
  • If ethacrynate sodium contains particles or is discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged in any way, do not use it.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Dispose of properly after use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain local regulations for proper disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of ethacrynate sodium, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use ethacrynate sodium.

Important safety information:

  • Ethacrynate sodium may cause dizziness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to ethacrynate sodium. Using ethacrynate sodium alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or to perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • Ethacrynate sodium may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting. Alcohol, hot weather, exercise, and fever can increase these effects. To prevent them, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Also, sit or lie down at the first sign of dizziness, lightheadedness, or weakness.
  • Your doctor may have also prescribed a potassium supplement for you. If so, follow the dosing carefully. Do not start taking additional potassium on your own or change your diet to include more potassium without first checking with your doctor.
  • Patients being treated for high blood pressure often feel tired or rundown for a few weeks after beginning therapy. Continue using your medicine even though you might not feel quite "normal." Contact your health care provider or pharmacist about any new symptoms.
  • Patients being treated for high blood pressure should avoid using nonprescription medicines that contain stimulants, such as products used for dieting (appetite suppressants) or relieving cold symptoms (eg, pseudoephedrine).
  • Ethacrynate sodium may cause increased sensitivity to the sun. Avoid exposure to the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to ethacrynate sodium. Use a sunscreen or protective clothing if you must be outside for a prolonged period.
  • Diabetes patients - Ethacrynate sodium may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely and ask your doctor before adjusting the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • LAB TESTS, including complete blood cell counts and blood pressure monitoring, may be performed to monitor your progress. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use ethacrynate sodium with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Caution is advised when using ethacrynate sodium in CHILDREN because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using ethacrynate sodium during pregnancy. It is unknown if ethacrynate sodium is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking ethacrynate sodium.

Possible side effects of ethacrynate sodium:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Dizziness; headache; lightheadedness; loss of appetite; nausea; restlessness; tiredness or weakness; upset stomach; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blurred vision; confusion; diarrhea; drowsiness; dry mouth; excessive urination; fever; hearing loss; loss of appetite; muscle pain/cramps/weakness; muscle spasm; rapid or irregular heartbeat; restlessness; ringing in the ears; seeing a yellow color; seizures; severe dizziness; sudden joint pain; unusual bleeding or bruising; unusual thirst; unusual tiredness or weakness; vomiting; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include dehydration; electrolyte imbalance (weakness; drowsiness; dizziness; muscle pain or cramps; thirst; dry mouth; unusual tiredness; racing heartbeat; excessive urination; restlessness; muscle tiredness; irregular heart rhythms; nausea; vomiting); severe diarrhea.

Proper storage of ethacrynate sodium:

Ethacrynate sodium is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using ethacrynate sodium at home, store ethacrynate sodium as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep ethacrynate sodium out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about ethacrynate sodium, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Ethacrynate sodium is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take ethacrynate sodium or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about ethacrynate sodium. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to ethacrynate sodium. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using ethacrynate sodium.

Issue Date: April 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.2.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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