This information sheet from Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) describes how this medicine is given and some of its possible side effects. Each person reacts differently to medicines so your child will not necessarily experience every side effect mentioned. If you have any questions or concerns, please ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist or telephone one of the contact numbers of this information sheet.


Furosemide belongs to a group of drugs called diuretics which increase the amount of urine produced. Furosemide is a medicine used in patients with heart and kidney problems to stop fluid building up in the body and so reduce the workload on the heart.

Furosemide helps the body remove excess water by increasing the amount of urine produced. Furosemide is often given with a weaker diuretic such as amiloride to prevent excess loss of body salts and potassium. Body salt levels (sodium and potassium) can be affected if a person takes diuretics long term so blood tests may be taken to check levels as required.


It may be given one, two, three or four times a day depending on your child’s condition. 

Furosemide is available in several different strengths as an oral liquid. At GOSH we use the 50mg in 5mLs strength. Please check that the same strength is given if repeat prescriptions are dispensed from your community pharmacy.

Tablets are available for older children and teenagers in 20mg, 40mg and 500mg strengths. 

It will make your child pass more urine, so older children may prefer to take furosemide a few hours before bedtime to prevent them having to get up to go to the toilet in the night. You may also need to speak to your child’s teacher if furosemide is given before school, as they may need to leave class more frequently to go to the toilet.


Side effects are rare but occasionally can include:

  • gastrointestinal disturbances (upset stomach)
  • skin rash and photosensitivity
  • hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar)
  • dizziness, headache, drowsiness
  • hearing impairment, tinnitus and deafness: this is usually if furosemide is given by the intravenous drip. If you suspect this, please tell us

If you are concerned about any of these side effects, please discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

People who should not take furosemide (contraindications)

People with the following conditions should discuss taking furosemide with their doctor:

  • pregnant, could be pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breast-feeding
  • allergy to sulphonamide drugs
  • Addison's disease

Furosemide and other medications

Some medicines can interact with furosemide. 

Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving your child any other medicines, including herbal or complementary medicines. 

The following medicines are known to react with furosemide:

  • digoxin
  • lithium
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen. Short term use is acceptable if recommended for treatment by a health care professional. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist before giving them to your child

Important information

  • Keep medicines in a safe place where children cannot reach them.
  • Keep medicines in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight and away from heat.
  • If your doctor decides to stop treatment with furosemide, return any unused medicine to the pharmacist. Do not flush down the toilet or throw it away.
  • If you forget to give your child a dose, give it as soon as you remember. Do not give a double dose.
  • If you child vomits after taking the medicine, do not give a double dose.
  • Your family doctor (GP) will need to give you a repeat prescription for furosemide. Some medicines will need to be ordered by your community pharmacy (chemist) so arrange this in plenty of time.

Contact information

For further information please contact:

Medicines Information: 020 7829 8608 or via the Medications page on the MyGOSH app (available Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm)

Cardiology team via GOSH switchboard: 020 7405 9200 or via the MyGOSH app

Useful documents

Compiled by:
The Pharmacy department in collaboration with the Child and Family Information Group
Last review date:
April 2023