What Is Mannitol and How Does It Work?

Mannitol is a diuretic used to force urine production in people with acute (sudden) kidney failure. Mannitol injection is also used to reduce swelling and pressure inside the eye or around the brain.

  • Mannitol is available under the following different brand names: Osmitrol.

What Are Dosages of Mannitol?

Dosages of Mannitol:

Adult and Pediatric Dosage Forms and Strengths


  • 5%
  • 10%
  • 15%
  • 20%
  • 25%

Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows:

Cerebral Edema

Reduction of intracranial pressure and treatment of cerebral edema

1.5-2 g/kg intravenously (IV) infused over 30-60 minutes

Edema, Pediatric

  • 0.25-1 g/kg intravenously (IV) initially; maintenance dose of 0.25-0.5 g/kg IV every 4-6 hours

Intraocular Pressure

  • 1.5-2 g/kg intravenously (IV) infused over 30-60 minutes


  • Test dose: 200 mg/kg intravenously (IV) infused over 3-5 minutes
  • Load: 500-1000 mg/kg IV for 1 dose
  • Maintenance: 250-500 mg/kg IV every 4-6 hours
  • Pediatric: Test dose: 0.2 g/kg IV over 3-5 minutes; not to exceed 12.5 g
  • Discontinue if no diuresis within 2 hours

Other Information

  • Do NOT give simultaneously with blood
  • Use 15-25% solution
  • Pediatric: Treatment of intoxications: Give the therapeutic dose like 5 or 10% solution intravenously (IV) as needed

Other Indications and Uses

  • Brain mass

What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Mannitol?

Common side effects of Mannitol include:

This document does not contain all possible side effects and others may occur. Check with your physician for additional information about side effects.

What Other Drugs Interact with Mannitol?

If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider, or pharmacist first.

Mannitol has no known severe interactions with other drugs.

Serious interactions of mannitol include:

Moderate interactions of mannitol include:

Mild interactions of mannitol include:

This information does not contain all possible interactions or adverse effects. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share this information with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your health care professional or doctor for additional medical advice, or if you have health questions, concerns, or for more information about this medicine.

What Are Warnings and Precautions for Mannitol?


This medication contains mannitol. Do not take Osmitrol if you are allergic to mannitol or any ingredients contained in this drug.

Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center immediately.


  • Hypersensitivity, anuria, severe pulmonary edema or heart failure, severe dehydration, metabolic edema, progressive renal dz, active intracranial bleeding (except during craniotomy)

Effects of Drug Abuse

  • No information available

Short-Term Effects

  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Mannitol?"

Long-Term Effects

  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Mannitol?"


Pregnancy and Lactation

  • Use mannitol with caution during pregnancy if the benefits outweigh the risks. Animal studies show risk and human studies are not available or neither animal nor human studies were done.
  • Use caution if breastfeeding.
Medscape. Mannitol.
RxList. Osmitrol Side Effects Drug Center.

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