Medically reviewed: September 25, 2017
What is mannitol?
Mannitol is a diuretic.
Mannitol is used to force urine production in people with acute (sudden) kidney failure. Increased urine production helps to keep the kidneys from shutting down, and also speeds up elimination of certain toxic substances in the body.
Mannitol is also used to reduce swelling and pressure inside the eye or around the brain.
Mannitol may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not receive mannitol if you have severe kidney disease, lung swelling or congestion, severe dehydration, bleeding in your brain not caused by surgery, or if your kidneys have already shut down and you are unable to urinate.
Before taking this medicine
You should not receive mannitol if you are allergic to it, or if you have:
severe or long-term kidney disease;
swelling or congestion in your lungs;
bleeding in your brain that is not related to surgery;
severe dehydration; or
if your kidneys have already shut down and you are unable to urinate.
To make sure mannitol is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
a history of kidney disease;
heart disease; or
an electrolyte imbalance (such as low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood).
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether mannitol will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine.
It is not known whether mannitol passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How is mannitol given?
Mannitol is injected into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.
Mannitol must be given slowly through an IV infusion, and you may receive the medication around the clock.
To be sure mannitol is helping your condition and not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested often. This will help your doctor determine how long to treat you with mannitol. Your heart function will also need to be tested.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Because you will receive mannitol in a clinical setting, you are not likely to miss a dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Since this medicine is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.
What should I avoid while receiving mannitol?
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
Mannitol side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Tell your caregivers right away if you have:
swelling in your hands or feet;
anxiety, sweating, severe shortness of breath, cough with foamy mucus, chest pain;
painful or difficult urination;
a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
pain, burning, irritation, or skin changes where the injection was given;
dehydration symptoms--feeling very thirsty or hot, being unable to urinate, heavy sweating, or hot and dry skin;
signs of a kidney problem--little or no urinating; painful or difficult urination; swelling in your feet or ankles; feeling tired or short of breath.
Common side effects may include:
swelling, rapid weight gain;
skin rash; or
dizziness, blurred vision.
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.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Mannitol dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Oliguria:
Renal function test dose prior to initiation of treatment: 0.2 g/kg IV over 3 to 5 min resulting in a urine flow of at least 30 to 50 mL/hr. A second test dose may be administered if the urine flow does not increase. If no response is seen following the second test dose, the patient should be reevaluated.
Treatment: 300 to 400 mg/kg (21 to 28 g for a 70 kg patient) or up to 100 g of 15% to 20% solution IV once. Treatment should not be repeated in patients with persistent oliguria.
Prevention (for use during cardiovascular and other types of surgery): 50 to 100 g IV. usually a 5 , 10, or 20% solution is used depending on the fluid requirements of the patient.
Usual Adult Dose for Cerebral Edema:
0.25 to 2 g/kg as a 15 to 20% solution IV over at least 30 min administered not more frequently than every 6 to 8 hrs.
To yield a satisfactory reduction in intracranial pressure, the osmotic gradient between the blood and cerebrospinal fluid should remain approximately 20 mOsmol.
In small &/or debilitated patients 500 mg/kg may be sufficient.
What other drugs will affect mannitol?
Other drugs may interact with mannitol, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.01.
More about mannitol
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
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- Drug class: miscellaneous diuretics