Ethacrynic Acid

Ethacrynic acid treats fluid retention. It increases urination, so take it in the morning to avoid having to urinate during the night. If you take it twice a day, take 2nd dose by late afternoon.

Ethacrynic Acid Overview

Reviewed: July 16, 2013
Updated: 

Ethacrynic acid is a prescription medication used to treat fluid retention caused by several medical conditions including congestive heart failure, liver disease, and kidney disease. Ethacrynic acid belongs to a group of drugs called diuretics ("water pills") which help the body get rid of excess fluid by increasing the amount of salt and water the kidneys remove from the blood.

This medication comes in tablet form and is usually taken once or twice daily, with food.

Common side effects include headache, nausea, and diarrhea. Ethacrynic acid can cause dizziness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how it affects you.

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  • Other
  • Ascites
  • Edema
  • Heart Failure
  • Hypertension
  • Kidney Failure, Acute
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic
  • Liver Cirrhosis
  • Nephrotic Syndrome
  • Pulmonary Edema

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Ethacrynic Acid Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautionsprecautions

Uses of Ethacrynic Acid

Ethacrynic acid is a prescription medication used to treat fluid retention caused by several medical conditions including congestive heart failure, liver disease, and kidney disease. It is also used to treat ascites, an accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Ethacrynic Acid Brand Names

Ethacrynic Acid may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Ethacrynic Acid Drug Class

Ethacrynic Acid is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Ethacrynic Acid

Serious side effects can occur. See "Drug Precautions" section.

Common side effects include:

  • loss of appetite
  • stomach discomfort or pain
  • difficulty swallowing
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • fatigue
  • rash
  • fever
  • chills

This is not a complete list of ethacrynic acid side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Ethacrynic Acid Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • aminoglycoside antibiotics such as amikacin (Amikin), gentamicin, kanamycin (Kantrex), neomycin (Neo-Fradin), streptomycin, and tobramycin
  • cephalosporin antibiotics such as cephalexin, cefaclor, cefdinir and others
  • corticosteroids such as prednisone, hydrocortisone (Cortef), and dexamethasone (Decadron, Dexone, Hexadrol)
  • warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)
  • medications for high blood pressure
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Nuprin) or naproxen (Aleve) and salicylates
  • lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid)
  • probenecid (Benemid)
  • digoxin

This is not a complete list of ethacrynic acid drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Ethacrynic Acid Precautions

Serious side effects can occur including:

  • electrolyte imbalance and excessive water loss. This medication may affect electrolytes including sodium and potassium. Your doctor will check these levels using a blood test. Warning signs of electrolyte imbalance include:
    • dry mouth
    • thirst
    • weakness
    • lack of energy
    • drowsiness
    • restlessness
    • muscle pains or cramps
    • muscle fatigue
    • low blood pressure
    • decreased urination
    • fast heart rate
    • nausea and vomiting
  • hepatic coma and death. Ethacrynic acid should be given with caution to patients with advanced cirrhosis of the liver.
  • hearing loss. Deafness, tinnitus, and vertigo have occurred, most frequently in patients with severe kidney disease.
  • extremely low blood pressure
  • worsening of kidney disease
  • worsening of gout

Do not take ethacrynic acid if you:

  • are allergic to any ingredient in it
  • are not able to produce urine

Stop taking ethacrynic acid if you experience severe, watery diarrhea or if your kidney disease worsens while receiving this medication.

Ethacrynic Acid Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of ethacrynic acid, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

 

Inform MD

Before taking ethacrynic acid, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • have liver disease
  • have kidney disease
  • have diabetes
  • have gout
  • have electrolyte imbalances
  • are allergic to any medications
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Ethacrynic Acid and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Ethacrynic acid falls into category B. There are no well-done studies that have been done in humans with ethacrynic acid. But in animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication, and the babies did not show any medical issues related to this medication.

Ethacrynic Acid and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

It is not known if ethacrynic acid crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this medication, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication. Your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using ethacrynic acid.

Ethacrynic Acid Usage

  • Take ethacrynic acid exactly as prescribed.
  • This medication comes in tablet form and is usually taken once or twice daily.
  • Ethacrynic acid is best taken with food.
  • Because ethacrynic acid increases urination, it is best taken in the morning to avoid having to get up in the night to urinate. If you take it more than once a day, take your last dose by late afternoon.
  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose.

Ethacrynic Acid Dosage

Take ethacrynic acid exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The ethacrynic acid dose your doctor recommends will be based on:

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication

The recommended total daily dosage of ethacrynic acid is 50 mg to 200 mg. Some patients may require doses as high as 200 mg twice daily.

Ethacrynic Acid Overdose

If you take too much ethacrynic acid call your doctor or Poison Contol Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

 

Other Requirements

  • Store at room temperature between 15 and 30° C (59-86° F).
  • Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children.