Bumetanide | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More
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Generic Name:

bumetanide, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Bumex
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for bumetanide

Oral tablet
1

Bumetanide is an oral drug that’s used to treat swelling caused by congestive heart failure, liver disease, and kidney disease.

2

More common side effects of taking this drug include muscle cramps, dizziness, low blood pressure, headache, or nausea. It may also cause trouble concentrating, confusion, memory loss, and seizures caused by abnormal brain function in people with liver disease.

3

The standard dose for adults is 0.5–2 mg taken by mouth once per day. Your doctor may give you a second or third dose per day taken at 4–5 hour intervals. The maximum dose is 10 mg per day.

4

Bumetanide is a strong diuretic. When taken in high doses, it can make you urinate more. This could cause severe water and electrolyte loss. Your doctor will check you closely and decide your dose based on how you respond to this drug.

5

This drug is removed from your body by your kidneys. If your kidneys aren’t working well, more of this drug may stay in your body. This could cause more side effects. Your doctor should check your kidney function before starting and during treatment with this drug.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA warning

This drug has a Black Box Warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients to potentially dangerous effects.

Water and electrolyte loss warning. Bumetanide is a strong diuretic. When taken in high doses, it can make you urinate more. This could cause severe water and electrolyte loss. Your doctor will check you closely and decide your dose based on how you respond to this drug.

Sulfa allergy

If you’re allergic to a class of medications called sulfonamides, you might also be allergic to bumetanide. Tell your doctor about your sulfa allergy before taking this drug.

Hearing problems

This drug has been shown to be dangerous to the ears (ototoxicity) in animal studies. Using bumetanide at high doses can cause hearing problems. Your doctor will monitor you closely. They may adjust your dose if you have trouble hearing or ringing in your ears.

What is bumetanide?

Bumetanide is a prescription drug. It’s available in these forms: oral tablet and intramuscular and intravenous (IV) injection, which is only given by a healthcare provider.

Bumetanide is only available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if the generic will work for you.

Why it's used

Bumetanide is used to treat swelling that’s caused by congestive heart failure, liver disease, and kidney disease, including the condition nephrotic syndrome.

How it works

Bumetanide belongs to a class of drugs called loop diuretics. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They have a similar chemical structure and are often used to treat similar conditions.

More Details

How it works

Bumetanide belongs to a class of drugs called loop diuretics. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They have a similar chemical structure and are often used to treat similar conditions.

This drug works in your kidneys by removing extra water from your system. This leads to decreased swelling (edema).

Bumetanide works very quickly, but its effects don’t last long. Bumetanide starts to work within 30–60 minutes of taking your dose of the oral tablet. It usually stops working after 4–6 hours, especially if you’re taking doses equal to or greater than 2 mg.

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SECTION 2 of 5

bumetanide Side Effects

Oral tablet

More Common Side Effects

Some of the more common side effects that can occur with use of bumetanide include:

  • muscle cramps

  • dizziness

  • low blood pressure

  • headache

  • nausea

  • abnormal brain function in people with liver disease. Symptoms include:

    • trouble concentrating
    • confusion
    • memory loss
    • seizures

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening, or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • serious skin reactions, such as Stevens Johnson syndrome or toxic epidermal necrolysis. Symptoms include:

    • skin rash
    • fever
    • itching or burning eyes
    • patches of painful skin
    • blistering
    • bruising
    • sores
    • swelling
    • crusting or scabs on areas of moist skin
  • severe electrolyte loss. Symptoms include:

    • weakness
    • dizziness
    • confusion
    • loss of energy
    • vomiting
    • muscle cramps
    • being unable to eat
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Bumetanide doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 5

bumetanide May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Bumetanide can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Bipolar disorder and mania drugs

Bumetanide reduces how quickly certain bipolar disorder and mania drugs are cleared from your body. This can increase your risk of toxicity. In general, these drugs shouldn’t be taken together.

These drugs include:

  • lithium

Blood pressure drugs

Bumetanide can increase the effects of certain blood pressure medications. This can cause lower

than normal blood pressure and more side effects. Your doctor may lower the dose of your blood

pressure drug if you’ll take it with bumetanide.

These drugs include:

  • angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, such as:
    • benazepril
    • captopril
    • cilazapril
    • enalapril
    • enalaprilat
    • fosinopril
    • imidapril
    • moexipril
    • perindopril
    • quinapril
    • ramipril
    • trandolapril
  • angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), such as:
    • irbesartan
    • losartan
    • olmesartan
    • telmisartan
    • valsartan
    • beta-blockers, such as:
    • acebutolol
    • arotinolol
    • atenolol
    • betaxolol
    • bisoprolol
    • esmolol
    • metoprolol
    • nadolol
    • nebivolol
    • penbutolol
    • pindolol
    • propranolol
    • timolol (Systemic)
  • calcium channel blockers, such as:
    • amlodipine
    • felodipine
    • nicardipine
    • nifedipine
  • direct renin inhibitors, such as:
    • aliskiren
  • loop diuretics, such as:
    • furosemide
    • indapamide
    • torsemide
  • potassium-sparing diuretics, such as:
    • eplerenone
    • spironolactone
    • triamterene
  • thiazide diuretics, such as:
    • chlorothiazide
    • chlorthalidone
    • hydrochlorothiazide
    • methyclothiazide
    • metolazone

Gout drugs

You shouldn’t take certain drugs used to treat gout with bumetanide. Certain gout medicines reduce some effects of bumetanide. This means that it won’t work as well to decrease your swelling. Taking these drugs together may also increase your risk of side effects from bumetanide.

These drugs include:

  • probenecid

Pain drugs

These drugs shouldn’t be taken together. Certain pain medications may reduce some of the effects of bumetanide. This means that they won’t work as well to decrease your swelling.

These drugs include:

  • COX-2 inhibitors, such as:
    • celecoxib
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as:
    • diclofenac
    • ibuprofen
    • indomethacin
    • keoprofen
    • ketorolac
    • meloxicam
    • nabumetone
    • naproxen
    • piroxicam

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Bumetanide warnings
kidney disease
People with kidney disease

Bumetanide is removed from your body by your kidneys. If your kidneys aren’t working well, you may have more side effects from this drug. Your doctor should check your kidney function while you’re taking this medication. If your kidney function gets worse, you may need to stop taking this drug.

liver disease
People with liver disease

Bumetanide can worsen the symptoms of the liver condition hepatic coma. If you have this condition, you shouldn’t take this drug.

electrolyte loss
People with severe electrolyte loss

You shouldn’t take this drug if you have very low levels of electrolytes. Bumetanide can cause you to lose even more electrolytes. This can lead to serious medical problems.

pregnant women
Pregnant women

Bumetanide is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:  

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. This drug should only be used if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

breast-feeding
Women who are breast-feeding

It isn’t known if bumetanide passes into breast milk. If it does, it may cause side effects in a child who is breast-fed.

Talk to your doctor if you breast-feed your baby. You may need to decide whether to stop breast-feeding or stop taking this medication.

for seniors
For seniors

Older adults may process drugs more slowly. A normal adult dose may cause levels of this drug to be higher than normal in your body. If you’re a senior, you may need a lower dose or a different schedule.

allergies
Allergies

Bumetanide can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • hives

Call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room if you develop these symptoms.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it or other sulfa drugs. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

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How to Take bumetanide (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Swelling (edema) caused by heart failure or liver or kidney disease

Generic: bumetanide

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 0.5 mg, 1 mg, and 2 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

The usual dose is 0.5–2 mg taken by mouth once per day. Your doctor may give you a second or third dose taken every 4–5 hours, up to a total of 10 mg taken per day.

The safest and most effective way to control swelling with this drug is to take an intermittent dose schedule. This means that the drug is given on alternate days or given for 3–4 days followed by a 1–2-day period where you don’t take the drug.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

The dose is 0.015-0.1 mg/kg of body weight taken every 6–24 hours. The maximum dose is 10 mg per day.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Bumetanide comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you don't take it at all

If you don’t take bumetanide, your swelling (edema) may get worse. This may make your heart failure symptoms worse.

If you stop taking it suddenly

Don’t stop taking bumetanide without talking to your doctor. Your swelling may get worse. Your symptoms of your heart failure, such as shortness of breath, irregular heart rate, dizziness, and fatigue may also get worse.

If you don't take it on schedule

This drug may not work as well if you don’t take it on schedule. Your swelling may not improve as much and your heart may work harder to pump blood.

If you take too much

Taking too much bumetanide can lead to severe water and electrolyte loss. Symptoms include:

  • weakness
  • dizziness
  • confusion
  • loss of energy
  • vomiting
  • muscle cramps
  • being unable to eat

If you think you’ve taken too much of the drug, act right away. Call your doctor or local Poison Control Center, or go to the nearest emergency room. 

What to do if you miss a dose

If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s just a few hours until the time for your next dose, then wait and only take one dose at that time.

Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could cause toxic side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working

You may be able to tell that this drug is working if you have a decrease in swelling.

Bumetanide is used for short- or long-term treatment

Important considerations for taking bumetanide
take with or without food
Take bumetanide with or without food
timing
You should take bumetanide in the morning. This drug makes you urinate more.
can crush or cut
You can cut or crush this drug
See Details
storage
Store bumetanide at room temperature
See Details
refillable
Prescription is refillable
travel
Travel
See Details
clinical monitoring
Clinical monitoring
See Details
your diet
Your diet
See Details
not usually stocked
Not every pharmacy stocks this drug. When filling your prescription, be sure to call ahead
prior authorization
Insurance
See Details

You can cut or crush this drug

This drug is scored, meaning that it has a line down the middle of it. You can cut it where it’s scored or crush it.

Store bumetanide at room temperature

Keep it from 68–77°F (20–25°C).

Keep this drug away from light and high temperature.

Keep your drugs away from areas where they could get wet, such as bathrooms. Store this drug away from moisture and damp locations.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you, such as in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Clinical monitoring

During treatment with bumetanide, your doctor may check your:

  • potassium and other electrolyte levels
  • blood pressure
  • weight to check for fluid
  • kidney function

Your diet

Your doctor may have you follow a high potassium diet. Foods rich in potassium include prunes, bananas, orange juice, squash, and dark leafy green vegetables.

Insurance

Most insurance companies won’t require a prior authorization for bumetanide.

Are there any alternatives?

Are are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.

SECTION 5 of 5

How Much Does bumetanide Cost?

Oral tablet

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Lowest price for bumetanide

Rite-Aid $9.99
CVS Pharmacy $12.14
Target (CVS) $12.14
These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for bumetanide on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for bumetanide on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on September 22, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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