Treating Heart Failure with Lasix Medications


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Table of Contents


I. What is Heart Failure?

II. Possible Causes of Heart Failure

III. How Does Lasix Treat Heart Failure?

IV. What to Know When Taking Lasix


What is Heart Failure?

Heart failure is a serious cardiovascular condition that can lead to several complications. The term “heart failure” sounds incredibly dire, but people can live for many years with heart failure. The heart is not failing as much as it is not pumping blood as well as it should.

Proper blood flow to and from the heart is an essential process in the body. Blood vessels supply the body and heart with oxygen and nutrients. Heart failure can occur for several reasons, so it is important to stay on top of your heart health throughout your life. There are different heart failure types, and doctors treat each one with medications like Lasix (furosemide). The types of heart failure include:  

Left-sided heart failure: Heart failure occurs on the heart’s left ventricle. Blood doesn’t pump efficiently on this side of the heart, which can cause fluid back up into the lungs.

Right-sided heart failure: The right chamber loses its ability to pump blood properly. The heart cannot fill with blood to its fullest capacity, which can cause fluid back up (edema) into the abdomen, legs, and feet.

Systolic heart failure: The left ventricle cannot contract as fast as it should, which is a pumping problem.

Diastolic heart failure: The left ventricle does not relax fully or fill properly. This indicates a filling problem, which means that the heart is not receiving enough blood.

Read on to learn more about heart failure and how medications like Lasix can treat heart conditions symptoms.

a diagram of heart failure in the right and left ventricle

Possible Causes of Heart Failure

Several conditions or genetic factors can lead to a damaged or a weakened heart. Heart failure is typically due to a combination of genetic factors and lifestyle choices. The common causes of heart failure include:

  • Faulty heart valves: If the heart valves are damaged, the heart has to work harder over time.
  • Coronary artery disease: Fatty deposits build up in the arteries, reducing blood flow and causing a heart attack.
  • High blood pressure: Increased pressure on the blood vessels can put extra exertion on the heart and cause the heart to become stiff over time.
  • Cardiomyopathy (heart damage): Damage to the heart may occur due to infections, diseases, alcohol abuse, and drug abuse.
  • Congenital heart defects: If your heart is not formed properly in the womb, the healthy parts of the heart have to work harder, leading to complications.
  • Myocarditis: Inflammation of the heart muscle caused by certain viruses can cause left-sided heart failure.

How Does Lasix Treat Heart Failure?

Diuretics are common medications used to treat heart failure. Diuretics like Lasix (furosemide) are also known as water pills. These drugs help eliminate unneeded water and salt, which makes it harder for your heart to pump blood. Diuretics are used to treat an array of heart problems like high blood pressure and heart failure.

Lasix may be needed if you are experiencing heart failure. As mentioned above, left and right-sided heart failure can lead to fluid accumulation in the body. This phenomenon is known as edema and causes fluid to get trapped in the body’s tissues. If you have congestive heart failure, fluid buildup can occur in the legs, ankles, feet, and abdomen. Edema in the lungs can also cause several breathing problems.

a doctor looking over someone in a hospital bed

Lasix is a type of loop diuretic that works by flushing out extra sodium through the kidneys and out through the urinary tract. Lasix interferes with the transport of salt and water across certain cells in the kidneys. As more fluid passes out through the kidneys, less fluid is in the bloodstream, relieving edema symptoms. This keeps swelling down and puts less pressure on your heart. Taking diuretics can lower blood pressure and improve heart health.

What to Know When Taking Lasix

In general, diuretics like Lasix are a safe treatment option for people experiencing heart failure. These drugs make blood flow easier for the body and supply the heart with more of the nutrients and oxygen it requires.

Lasix (furosemide) flush out excess fluid, so this comes with the side effect of frequent urination. If you are taking diuretics, you may want to keep this in mind and plan your daily activities accordingly. Sometimes diuretics flush out too many nutrients and can lead to a drop in potassium levels. Potassium can drop too low and cause problems with heart rhythm. You may be prescribed a potassium-sparing form of diuretic if this a health concern for you.

Other side effects of diuretics may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Dehydration
  • Muscle cramps
  • Joint disorders like gout
  • Impotence

If you are experiencing high blood pressure or heart failure, talk to your doctor to see if a diuretic treatment like Lasix can work for you. Visit My Drug Center for all of your heart-healthy medications today.

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