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ethacrynic acid

Generic Name: ethacrynic acid (eth a KRIN ik AS id)
Brand Name: Edecrin, Edecrin Sodium

What is ethacrynic acid?

Ethacrynic acid is a loop diuretic (water pill) that prevents your body from absorbing too much salt, allowing the salt to instead be passed in your urine.

Ethacrynic acid treats fluid retention (edema) in people with congestive heart failure, liver disease, or a kidney disorder such as nephrotic syndrome.

Ethacrynic acid may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about ethacrynic acid?

Do not use this medication if you are unable to urinate, or if you have recently had severe watery diarrhea.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or gout.

To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood and your weight will need to be checked on a regular basis. Your kidney or liver function may also need to be tested. It is important that you not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

Ethacrynic acid will make you urinate more often and you may get dehydrated easily. Follow your doctor's instructions about using potassium supplements or getting enough salt and potassium in your diet.

Avoid becoming dehydrated. Follow your doctor's instructions about the type and amount of liquids you should drink while you are taking ethacrynic acid.

There are many other medicines that can interact with ethacrynic acid. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list with you of all the medicines you use and show this list to any doctor or other healthcare provider who treats you.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking ethacrynic acid?

Do not use this medication if you are unable to urinate, or if you have recently had severe watery diarrhea.

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take ethacrynic acid:

  • kidney disease;

  • liver disease; or

  • gout.

FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether ethacrynic acid passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take ethacrynic acid?

Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from this medication.

Take this medication with food unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

Ethacrynic acid will make you urinate more often and you may get dehydrated easily. Follow your doctor's instructions about using potassium supplements or getting enough salt and potassium in your diet.

To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood and your weight will need to be checked on a regular basis. Your kidney or liver function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

Store this medication at room temperature away from heat, light, and moisture.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. Overdose symptoms may include ringing in your ears, loss of appetite, weakness, dizziness, confusion, feeling light-headed, or fainting.

What should I avoid while taking ethacrynic acid?

Avoid becoming dehydrated. Follow your doctor's instructions about the type and amount of liquids you should drink while you are taking ethacrynic acid.

What are the possible side effects of ethacrynic acid

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using ethacrynic acid and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • dry mouth, thirst, nausea, vomiting;

  • feeling weak, drowsy, restless, or light-headed;

  • fast or uneven heartbeat;

  • muscle pain or weakness;

  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;

  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;

  • severe or watery diarrhea;

  • blood in your urine or stools;

  • coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;

  • rapid weight loss;

  • hearing loss, feeling of fullness in the ear; or

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild diarrhea, stomach pain, loss of appetite;

  • trouble swallowing;

  • headache; or

  • dizziness.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect ethacrynic acid?

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • lithium;

  • digoxin (Lanoxin);

  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin);

  • other diuretics, especially furosemide (Lasix) or torsemide (Demadex);

  • blood pressure medicines;

  • steroids (prednisone and others);

  • cancer medicine such as cisplatin (Platinol), carboplatin (Paraplatin), or oxiplatin (Eloxatin);

  • a cephalosporin antibiotic such as Ceclor, Ceftin, Duricef, Keflex, Omnicef, Spectracef, and others;

  • salicylates such as aspirin, Disalcid, Doan's Pills, Dolobid, Salflex, Tricosal, and others;

  • NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), diclofenac (Voltaren), indomethacin, naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), piroxicam (Feldene), nabumetone (Relafen), etodolac (Lodine), and others; or

  • amikacin (Amikin), gentamicin (Garamycin), netilmicin (Netromycin), streptomycin, tobramycin (Nebcin, Tobi).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with ethacrynic acid. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about ethacrynic acid.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 8.03. Revision Date: 2010-12-15, 5:01:39 PM.

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