"What are diuretics and how do they work?
The amount of fluid (water) retained by the body is controlled primarily by the kidneys. This occurs due to the kidney's ability to control the retention and elimination of sodium and chlorid"...
Volume and Electrolyte Depletion
The dose of Bumex (bumetanide) should be adjusted to the patient's need. Excessive doses or too frequent administration can lead to profound water loss, electrolyte depletion, dehydration, reduction in blood volume and circulatory collapse with the possibility of vascular thrombosis and embolism, particularly in elderly patients.
Hypokalemia can occur as a consequence of Bumex (bumetanide) administration. Prevention of hypokalemia requires particular attention in the following conditions: patients receiving digitalis and diuretics for congestive heart failure, hepatic cirrhosis and ascites, states of aldosterone excess with normal renal function, potassium-losing nephropathy, certain diarrheal states, or other states where hypokalemia is thought to represent particular added risks to the patient, ie, history of ventricular arrhythmias.
In patients with hepatic cirrhosis and ascites, sudden alterations of electrolyte balance may precipitate hepatic encephalopathy and coma. Treatment in such patients is best initiated in the hospital with small doses and careful monitoring of the patient's clinical status and electrolyte balance. Supplemental potassium and/or spironolactone may prevent hypokalemia and metabolic alkalosis in these patients.
In cats, dogs and guinea pigs, bumetanide has been shown to produce ototoxicity. In these test animals bumetanide was 5 to 6 times more potent than furosemide and, since the diuretic potency of bumetanide is about 40 to 60 times furosemide, it is anticipated that blood levels necessary to produce ototoxicity will rarely be achieved. The potential exists, however, and must be considered a risk of intravenous therapy, especially at high doses, repeated frequently in the face of renal excretory function impairment. Potentiation of aminoglycoside ototoxicity has not been tested for bumetanide. Like other members of this class of diuretics, bumetanide probably shares this risk.
Allergy to Sulfonamides
Patients allergic to sulfonamides may show hypersensitivity to Bumex (bumetanide) .
Since there have been rare spontaneous reports of thrombocytopenia from postmarketing experience, patients should be observed regularly for possible occurrence of thrombocytopenia.
Serum potassium should be measured periodically and potassium supplements or potassium-sparing diuretics added if necessary. Periodic determinations of other electrolytes are advised in patients treated with high doses or for prolonged periods, particularly in those on low-salt diets.
Hyperuricemia may occur; it has been asymptomatic in cases reported to date. Reversible elevations of the BUN and creatinine may also occur, especially in association with dehydration and particularly in patients with renal insufficiency. Bumex (bumetanide) may increase urinary calcium excretion with resultant hypocalcemia.
Diuretics have been shown to increase the urinary excretion of magnesium; this may result in hypomagnesemia.
Studies in normal subjects receiving Bumex (bumetanide) revealed no adverse effects on glucose tolerance, plasma insulin, glucagon and growth hormone levels, but the possibility of an effect on glucose metabolism exists. Periodic determinations of blood sugar should be done, particularly in patients with diabetes or suspected latent diabetes.
Patients under treatment should be observed regularly for possible occurrence of blood dyscrasias, liver damage or idiosyncratic reactions, which have been reported occasionally in foreign marketing experience. The relationship of these occurrences to Bumex (bumetanide) use is not certain.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis and Impairment of Fertility
Bumex (bumetanide) was devoid of mutagenic activity in various strains of Salmonella typhimurium when tested in the presence or absence of an in vitro metabolic activation system. An 18-month study showed an increase in mammary adenomas of questionable significance in female rats receiving oral doses of 60 mg/kg/day (2000 times a 2-mg human dose). A repeat study at the same doses failed to duplicate this finding.
Reproduction studies were performed to evaluate general reproductive performance and fertility in rats at oral dose levels of 10, 30, 60 or 100 mg/kg/day. The pregnancy rate was slightly decreased in the treated animals; however, the differences were small and not statistically significant.
Pregnancy Category C. Bumex (bumetanide) is neither teratogenic nor embryocidal in mice when given in doses up to 3400 times the maximum human therapeutic dose.
Bumex (bumetanide) has been shown to be nonteratogenic, but it has a slight embryocidal effect in rats when given in doses of 3400 times the maximum human therapeutic dose and in rabbits at doses of 3.4 times the maximum human therapeutic dose. In one study, moderate growth retardation and increased incidence of delayed ossification of sternebrae were observed in rats at oral doses of 100 mg/kg/day, 3400 times the maximum human therapeutic dose. These effects were associated with maternal weight reductions noted during dosing. No such adverse effects were observed at 30 mg/kg/day (1000 times the maximum human therapeutic dose). No fetotoxicity was observed at 1000 to 2000 times the human therapeutic dose.
In rabbits, a dose-related decrease in litter size and an increase in resorption rate were noted at oral doses of 0.1 and 0.3 mg/kg/day (3.4 and 10 times the maximum human therapeutic dose). A slightly increased incidence of delayed ossification of sternebrae occurred at 0.3 mg/kg/day; however, no such adverse effects were observed at the dose of 0.03 mg/kg/day. The sensitivity of the rabbit to Bumex (bumetanide) parallels the marked pharmacologic and toxicologic effects of the drug in this species.
Bumex (bumetanide) was not teratogenic in the hamster at an oral dose of 0.5 mg/kg/day (17 times the maximum human therapeutic dose). Bumetanide was not teratogenic when given intravenously to mice and rats at doses up to 140 times the maximum human therapeutic dose.
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. A small investigational experience in the United States and marketing experience in other countries to date have not indicated any evidence of adverse effects on the fetus, but these data do not rule out the possibility of harmful effects. Bumex (bumetanide) should be given to a pregnant woman only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. As a general rule, nursing should not be undertaken while the patient is on Bumex (bumetanide) since it may be excreted in human milk.
Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients below the age of 18 have not been established.
In vitro studies using pooled sera from critically ill neonates have shown bumetanide to be a potent displacer of bilirubin (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY: Pediatric Pharmacology). The administration of bumetanide could present a particular concern if given to critically ill or jaundiced neonates at risk for kernicterus.
Clinical studies of Bumex (bumetanide) did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they responded differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.
This drug is known to be substantially excreted by the kidney, and the risk of toxic reactions to this drug may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and it may be useful to monitor renal function.
Last reviewed on RxList: 2/16/2010
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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