Torasemide is a diuretic (a water tablet).
It is best taken in the morning.
Any side-effects are usually mild, but may include feeling sick or dizzy.
|Type of medicine||Loop diuretic|
|Used for||High blood pressure, and oedema (fluid retention)|
Torasemide belongs to a group of medicines called loop diuretics. A diuretic is a medicine which increases the amount of urine that you pass out from your kidneys. They are often referred to as water tablets. Diuretics are a common treatment for hypertension (high blood pressure). They are also used to clear excess fluid from your body in conditions where your body retains more than it needs. This is called oedema. It is commonly caused by heart failure.
Before taking torasemide
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking torasemide it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
- If you have kidney problems, any difficulties passing urine, or if you are dehydrated.
- If you have prostate or liver problems.
- If you have gout or diabetes, as these conditions may be made worse by diuretics.
- If you have been told you have low sodium or potassium levels in your blood.
- If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
How to take torasemide
- Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The leaflet will give you more information about torasemide and a full list of side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
- Take the tablets exactly as your doctor has told you to. It is usual to be prescribed one dose to take each day and you will be asked to take it preferably in the morning. There are several strengths of torasemide tablet. The usual dose for high blood pressure is 2.5 mg daily. It will be more than this if you are taking it for fluid retention. Your dose and the strength of your tablets will be printed on the label of the pack to remind you.
- Although torasemide is preferably taken in the morning, you can take it at a time to suit you. For example, if you want to go out in the morning and don't want to have to find a toilet, you can delay taking the tablet until later. However, it is best if you take it no later than mid-afternoon. This is because you will find you need to go to the toilet a couple of times within a few hours of taking the tablet and this will disturb your sleep if you take it late in the day.
- Swallow the tablet with a drink of water. You can take torasemide before or after your meals.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is after 6 pm in the evening, you should skip the forgotten dose and continue as usual the next day. Do not take two doses together to make up for a missed dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress. The balance of salts in your blood may be upset by torasemide. Your doctor may want you to have a blood test from time to time to check for this.
- Diuretics like torasemide help you to lose water. Occasionally you may lose too much and become dehydrated. Let your doctor know if you feel constantly thirsty, your mouth is dry, or your skin looks and feels dry.
- If you have been prescribed torasemide for high blood pressure, your treatment is likely to be long-term. Although many people with high blood pressure do not feel unwell, if left untreated, high blood pressure can harm your heart and damage your blood vessels. This damage may later result in a heart attack, stroke, or kidney problems, so it is important that you continue to take these tablets regularly to help reduce the risk of this. You may also be given some lifestyle or dietary advice by your doctor, such as stopping smoking, reducing the amount of salt in your diet and taking some regular exercise. Following this advice will also help to reduce the risk of damage to your heart and blood vessels.
- Drinking alcohol while you are on torasemide may make you feel dizzy. Ask for your doctor's advice about whether you should avoid alcohol.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with your other medicines.
- If you have diabetes, torasemide may affect your blood sugar levels. Test your blood or urine regularly and speak with your doctor if you notice any significant changes.
- If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
Can torasemide cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Torasemide side-effects||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Feeling sick, stomach upset||This is usually mild, but it may help to take the tablets after food|
|Feeling dizzy, particularly when you stand up (due to low blood pressure)||Getting up and moving more slowly should help. Do not drive or use tools or machines until you feel better|
|Dry mouth||Try chewing sugar-free gum or sucking sugar-free sweets|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store torasemide
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine, ask your pharmacist.
Further reading & references
- Manufacturer's PIL, Torem Tablets® 2.5 mg; Meda Pharmaceuticals, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated September 2009.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Torem Tablets® 5 mg and 10 mg; Meda Pharmaceuticals, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated September 2009.
- British National Formulary; 65th Edition (Mar 2013) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.
Dr Helen Huins