What is an ethacrynic acid?
Ethacrynic acid is a loop diuretic that works by suppressing the activity of your body’s natural structures and hormones that reabsorb and retain water in the kidneys. This allows your kidneys to release this retained fluid into your urine stream.
It also prevents sodium reabsorption through the renal tubules allowing more salt and water in the blood to be excreted in the urine. It is used in treating high blood pressure, conditions where you need to lower excess fluid such as congestive heart failure and kidney disease, and edema (fluid retention) caused by various medical problems such as cirrhosis or heart problems.
Ethacrynic acid will not treat an infection. Many other medications work better for specific conditions. Ensure your child’s physician knows if he has ever had an allergic reaction to this drug or any other medicines.
Your child should inform the physician of any medications currently being taken, including over-the-counter drugs and dietary supplements, pregabalin, phenytoin, and certain antibiotics, e.g., ciprofloxacin, Gemifloxacin, levofloxacin.
It is important to note that this medication should not be taken during pregnancy. It may cause harm to the unborn baby and usually causes no visible effects in a newborn infant whose mother has taken ethacrynic acid during pregnancy.
Consult your physician if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or planning to become pregnant before taking this medication. Taking it simultaneously with certain other medications might increase its effect on lowering blood pressure, including amiloride, prazosin, spironolactone, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, e.g., enalapril, lisinopril, cimetidine, and guanethidine.
Ethacrynic acid is available in the form of tablets, an extended-release (long-acting) oral suspension (liquid) that can be taken half an hour before or two hours after a meal or snack, and an intravenous (IV) solution for infusion into your veins over one to five minutes.
The IV form is prescribed when your doctor starts treatment quickly with total doses. It is also used when you cannot take it by mouth, e.g., during surgery or emergencies like heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure.
It does not dissolve easily in water, but it must be diluted immediately with orange juice, cola beverage, tomato juice, lemonade; otherwise, it may cause stomach upset, e.g., nausea and vomiting. It must not be taken with grapefruit juice or other fruit juices with a high content of naringin or hesperidin, which may increase the effects of ethacrynic acid.
Ethacrynic acid is available in tablet forms labeled Acetamide, Ethacrynate Sodium, Ethacrynic Acid. Our physicians recommend taking it at least 30 minutes before eating or two hours after having a meal to prevent stomach upset, e.g., nausea and vomiting.
The usual recommended dose for adults ranges from 50 milligrams (mg) to 100 milligrams (mg) every day, once daily in the morning before breakfast, depending on what condition your doctor wants to treat. The usual recommended dose for children is proportional to their body weight.
Discuss your child’s needs with his physician. The oral liquid form is preferred for pediatric patients, and it must be diluted immediately before use. Always follow your physician’s instructions, and if he thinks you or your child should take a smaller dose or stop the medication altogether, do as he says because this drug can cause serious health problems if not correctly used.
The common side effects of ethacrynic acid are diarrhea, stomach upset, e.g., nausea and vomiting (this may increase when taken with grapefruit juice), loss of appetite, muscle cramps, dizziness, lightheadedness, headache, fatigue, weakness, urination changes (frequency), darkened urine coloration.
In contrast, serious side effects include blurred vision, yellowing of the skin or eyes, unusual tiredness or weakness, shortness of breath, swelling of feet or lower legs, muscle pain, e.g., muscle tenderness and weakness, joint pain, e.g., joint stiffness, pale stools (with clay-colored centers), brown urine coloration; signs of infection like fever; signs of kidney failure like change in how much or how often you urinate or blood in your urine.
Some people may develop severe allergic reactions like breathing difficulty even when taking this medication for the first time. These conditions are more likely to occur when ethacrynic acid is taken with certain other medicines, including angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors), e.g., enalapril, captopril, or lisinopril; diuretics, e.g., hydrochlorothiazide, furosemide; non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), e.g., ibuprofen, indomethacin, naproxen.
Take it only when prescribed by your doctor and if you think that there is a severe health problem, immediately call your physician on his office number.
Ethacrynic acid possesses a potassium-sparing effect which can cause an increase in blood potassium level, particularly in patients with kidney problems, so they are advised to have a regular check of their potassium level, especially during the initial stages of the treatment course. Your doctor may also recommend dietary changes, including the intake of foods with high potassium levels, e.g., bananas, raisins, dates, figs, and pretzels.
Do not take this drug if you notice changes in your heart rhythm or congestive heart failure, nausea or vomiting, headache, difficulty breathing especially when exercising, confusion, fatigue, increased blood pressure (after taking this medicine), and skin rash.