After trying very hard to help someone with cirrhosis this week (and losing the battle), I am still doing research on Furosemide. I am heartbroken that this man was not able to turn things around. He was being given Furosemide in the hospital, and I suspect they gave him a higher dose than normal because they said he wasn't a candidate for a paracentesis. They were worried he'd bleed to death.
Please scroll down to see the LONG LIST of side effects of Furosemide. I've taken the liberty of looking up some of the complex-sounding side effects, and pasting their definitions, further down the page. I had to look up at least half of these definitions. You'll see a lot of fancy terms for things we'd be able to understand a lot better if they just put it in layman's terms, but sometimes I think these companies don't want us to understand this stuff. Interstitial nephritis is what happens when there's inflammation between the kidney tubules (translation: KIDNEY FAILURE - and I have seen people die from this after taking furosemide). Urticaria is another word for HIVES. Pruritis is another word for: REALLY BAD ITCHING.
Sometimes I read these side effects and can't help thinking... why are they giving this stuff???? Can't they come up with something better??
You can see Dr. Najeeb talk about this, in this video, below (which I've also featured on THIS PAGE), that Furosemide can increase bilirubin levels. Please scroll to around the 46:30 mark in the video. He talks about how important "hepatic uptake" is. It displaces unconjugated bilirubin from plasma proteins. Sulfonamides used newborns, for meningitis, can also displace the bilirubin from bilirubin binding proteins. And Penicillin can do the same thing. And I think he was also saying that Rifampin can do the same thing (at least,, some drug that causes contact lenses to turn pink, and Rifampin is the drug known to do that). He pronounced it a little differently from Rifampin but I am pretty sure that is what he meant. Sorry I am totally digressing...
The gist I get is that the unconjugated bilirubin is supposed to turn into the conjugated (water soluble) form so that it can be eliminated from the body, but furosemide can prevent this process from happening.
This is a really good video... I appreciate this woman breaking down how bilirubin is conjugated. She puts this stuff in layman's terms in a way that's easier to understand!
3. interstitial nephritis inflammation of the kidneys. AKA KIDNEY FAILURE. Interstitial nephritis (or tubulo-interstitial nephritis) is a form of nephritis affecting the interstitium of the kidneys surrounding the tubules, i.e., is inflammation of the spaces between renal tubules.
a condition in which you have a low blood platelet count. Platelets (thrombocytes) are colorless blood cells that help blood clot. Platelets stop bleeding by clumping and forming plugs in blood vessel injuries.
also known as agranulosis or granulopenia, is an acute condition involving a severe and dangerous leukopenia (lowered white blood cell count), most commonly of neutrophils causing a neutropenia in the circulating blood. It is a severe lack of one major class of infection-fighting white blood cells.
Eosinophils are a type of disease-fighting white blood cell. This condition most often indicates a parasitic infection, an allergic reaction or cancer. You can have high levels ofeosinophils in your blood (blood eosinophilia) or in tissues at the site of an infection or inflammation (tissue eosinophilia).
3. erythema multiforme
pustulosis or AGEP is an uncommon skin eruption characterised by superficial pustules. AGEP is usually classified as a severe adverse reaction (SCAR) to a prescribed drug.
6. exfoliative dermatitis
severe itching of the skin, as a symptom of various ailments.
Hives, also known as urticaria, is a kind of skin rash with red, raised, itchy bumps. They may also burn or sting.
I hope this post may help people see why I say that the VERY FIRST thing you should do, when you are diagnosed with cirrhosis, is to look up all the drugs you or your loved one, have been prescribed.
You can print out a sheet, to keep track of the drugs, and the side effects, on this page.