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Precautions and Warnings With Ethacrynic Acid

Being aware of precautions and warnings with ethacrynic acid can ensure a safe treatment process. Tell your healthcare provider if you have diabetes, gout, or any allergies before taking it. Potential side effects include hearing loss, extremely low blood pressure, and electrolyte imbalance. Precautions and warnings with ethacrynic acid also extend to those who are allergic to any components of the drug, are producing little or no urine, or experience severe diarrhea.

Ethacrynic Acid: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking ethacrynic acid (Edecrin®) if you have:
 
  • Liver disease, including cirrhosis
  • Kidney disease or kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Diabetes
  • Gout
  • Fluid or electrolyte problems
  • Any allergies, including allergies to sulfa drugs, foods, dyes, or preservatives.
     
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you:
 
Tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are currently taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 

Specific Precautions and Warning With Ethacrynic Acid

Precautions and warnings to be aware of prior to taking ethacrynic acid include the following:
 
  • The medication is a potent diuretic with the potential to cause too much water and electrolyte loss. Your healthcare provider should carefully monitor you while you are taking it. This involves monitoring your weight (usually on a daily basis) and checking your electrolyte levels (using a blood test).
     
  • If kidney problems seem to be getting worse (especially for those with severe kidney disease), ethacrynic acid should be stopped, since it can sometimes make kidney problems worse.
     
  • The medication should be used with caution in people with cirrhosis or other liver problems. Electrolyte changes (which are common with ethacrynic acid) can be dangerous for people with liver disease.
     
  • Ethacrynic acid can cause hearing loss. Sometimes, this hearing loss is permanent. It is more common when high doses of ethacrynic acid are given intravenously or when combined with other medications that can cause hearing loss. Let your healthcare provider know right away if you notice hearing loss or ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
     
  • Ethacrynic acid can interact with several other drugs (see Drug Interactions With Ethacrynic Acid).
     
  • Ethacrynic acid may cause extreme low blood pressure in some people. This is more likely to happen when the medicine is first started or if the dosage is changed. It is also more likely to happen in people who:
 
This is why it is important to drink fluids regularly while taking ethacrynic acid. If you have any possible symptoms of low blood pressure, such as dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting, contact your healthcare provider. If you have fainted, stop taking ethacrynic acid until you have talked to your healthcare provider.
 
Also, make sure not to drive, operate any heavy machinery, or perform any other tasks that require alertness until you know how ethacrynic acid affects you.
  • The medication may affect electrolytes in the blood (including sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and chloride). Therefore, your healthcare provider will regularly check these levels. If you notice any symptoms of a possible electrolyte imbalance, contact your healthcare provider. These symptoms may include:
 
    • Dry mouth
    • Thirst
    • Weakness
    • Lethargy
    • Drowsiness
    • Restlessness
    • Muscle pain or muscle cramps
    • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
    • Decreased urination
    • Rapid heart rate (tachycardia) or irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
    • Nausea or vomiting.
 
  • Ethacrynic acid is also known to make gout worse.
     
  • Ethacrynic acid is considered a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that it is probably safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using the drug while pregnant (see Edecrin and Pregnancy).
     
  • It is not known if ethacrynic acid passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about using ethacrynic acid (see Edecrin and Breastfeeding for more information).
     
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Ethacrynic Acid (Edecrin)

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