Side Effects of Bumex (Bumetanide)

Bumex (bumetanide) is a strong diuretic that can cause side effects, with dehydration being the most serious one. This medication is commonly prescribed to treat edema (fluid retention) that is caused by medical problems like heart failure, kidney disease, and liver disease. It works by helping the kidneys clear excess water and sodium. Bumetanide can also be prescribed to treat high blood pressure.

If you are taking bumetanide, it's important that you take note of the medication’s side effects and contact your doctor if you experience symptoms that become severe or don’t go away.

woman taking a medication

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Common Side Effects

While taking bumetanide, it's common to experience the following: 

  • Frequent urination
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Muscles cramps
  • Upset stomach
  • Diarrhea

If these effects are severe, don’t go away, or become worse, let your doctor know. 

Bumetanide may hinder the efficacy of other medications and may increase the chance of side effects caused by certain medications.

Drugs that could have interactions with bumetanide include: 

  • Ototoxic drugs (drugs that damage hearing function), including aminoglycoside antibiotics such as amikacin, Garamycin (gentamicin), or Bethkis (tobramycin)
  • Medications that may be potentially nephrotoxic (damaging or destructive to the kidneys)
  • Lithium and bumetanide should not be taken together because diuretics can significantly increase lithium concentration in the body and increase the risk of lithium toxicity
  • Probenecid reduces the excretion of sodium in the urine (natriuresis) and the high concentration of blood renin levels (hyperreninemia) produced by bumetanide
  • Antihypertensives medication effects may be increased when taken with bumetanide. Dose reduction may be necessary if these medications are combined
  • Prednisone and other corticosteroids, which can change the concentration of potassium in the blood
  • Toxicity risk of digoxin (used to treat heart conditions) is increased with bumetanide
  • Medications that contain a lot of sodium, which is found in salt, like paracetamol. Too much salt can prevent bumetanide from working properly

Inform your physician of all medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products that you are taking. Your doctor and pharmacist will determine whether you are taking medications that may interact with bumetanide and direct you regarding any adjustments you may need to make. 

Serious Side Effects

Taking too much bumetanide or taking it too often may result in extreme fluid loss, electrolyte depletion (presenting as dizziness, weakness, confusion, anorexia, lethargy, cramps, and vomiting), dehydration, reduction in blood volume, and circulatory collapse.

These effects can potentially lead to vascular thrombosis (blood clots that form within blood vessels) and embolism (blood clots that break loose within blood vessels), especially in older adults. A thrombus or embolus can cause vascular obstruction and serious organ damage. 

Bumetanide may cause hypokalemia (low blood potassium concentration), especially in patients who are taking digitalis or diuretics for treatment of heart failure, hepatic cirrhosis, or ascites (fluid accumulation in the peritoneal cavity that causes abdominal swelling).

Other serious side effects that can be caused by bumetanide include aldosterone (a steroid hormone) excess with normal kidney function, potassium-losing nephropathy, or other conditions in which hypokalemia is an added risk, particularly in people with a history of abnormal heartbeats in the lower chamber (ventricular arrhythmias).

Severe skin reactions, such as Steven-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis,could also occur as a result of taking bumetanide.

Bumetanide can cause the following severe adverse effects:

  • Ringing in ears (tinnitus)
  • Hearing loss
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Renal (kidney) failure

If you experience any of these symptoms, notify your doctor immediately or go to the emergency room for medical treatment.

In rare cases, bumetanide may cause an allergic reaction.

Seek medical help right away if you have:

  • A skin rash that may include itchy, red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin
  • Wheezing
  • A feeling of tightness in the chest or throat
  • Trouble breathing or talking
  • Swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat

In Case of a Bumetanide Overdose

If the person taking bumetanide has collapsed, had a seizure, has difficulty breathing, or can’t wake up, call 911 at once. For accidental overdose, call the the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222, or you can access information online at poisonhelp.org.

A Word From Verywell

Bumetanide is prescribed for the treatment of a number of health conditions, but it may cause adverse effects. To minimize side effects and drug interactions, let your physician know what medications, vitamins, supplements, and herbal products you are taking. If you experience side effects, contact your provider. Your doctor will advise you about what to do next.

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Article Sources
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