Furosemide, known by the brand name Lasix, is a common medication used to treat fluid retention (edema) caused by heart disease or kidney conditions. It belongs to a group of medications called diuretics, or water pills. Diuretics help the body get rid of excess fluid and salt. However, the effects of diuretics are impacted by foods and drinks consumed. It's important to avoid certain foods and beverages, especially those that contain sodium, caffeine or alcohol, when taking furosemide.
Sodium-rich foods like processed meats, fast food and salty snacks counteract the effects of furosemide. They can also lead to dehydration, which can make the side effects of furosemide worse. Likewise, consuming too much caffeine can increase the amount of fluids that are lost by the body, which can also reduce the effectiveness of the medication. Caffeine is found in many beverages, including coffee, tea, energy drinks and sodas.
When taking furosemide, it is also important to limit the intake of potassium-rich foods. This can prevent an imbalance of electrolytes, especially potassium, which is important for heart function and muscle contraction. Potassium-rich foods include bananas, avocados and leafy green vegetables.
It's best to avoid alcohol while taking furosemide, as it increases the risk of dehydration and interacts with the drug. This can cause a dangerous drop in blood pressure that may make you feel dizzy or lightheaded. Also, alcohol can decrease the absorption of other medications that you're taking. It's a good idea to speak with your doctor before drinking alcohol while taking furosemide.