You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking ethacrynic acid if you have:
- Liver disease, including cirrhosis
- Kidney disease or kidney failure
- Fluid or electrolyte problems
- Any allergies, including allergies to sulfa drugs, foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you:
- Are pregnant or trying to become pregnant (see Edecrin and Pregnancy)
- Are breastfeeding (see Edecrin and Breastfeeding).
Tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are currently taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Ethacrynic Acid to learn more, including information on who should not take the drug.)
Ethacrynic acid is a diuretic, which is commonly referred to as a "water pill." Specifically, it is known as a "loop diuretic," named after the part of the kidneys where it acts (the loop of Henle).
The medication works by increasing the amount of salt and water that the kidneys remove from the blood, which is passed out through urine. By increasing the amount of water removed from the blood, ethacrynic acid causes a decrease in blood volume. This, in turn, helps with water retention.