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Nutritional Problems If You Use Digoxin & Furosemide

author image Destiny Simmons
Destiny Simmons has worked as a professional health writer since 2005. She specializes in health and nutrition articles. Her work has appeared in various health Web sites. Destiny holds a Bachelors of Science in nursing from Boston University and a Master of Public Health Nutrition from Tufts University.
Nutritional Problems If You Use Digoxin & Furosemide
A young woman is about to eat an orange. Photo Credit: Blend Images/Blend Images/Getty Images

Digoxin is drug usually prescribed with furosemide to treat congestive heart failure, a condition in which the heart stops pumping blood efficiently to the body. Heart failure causes excess fluid to build in your body. Furosemide, a diuretic pill, helps remove this excess fluid. Digoxin helps your heart beat more strongly and with a more regular rhythm. You may experience dehydration and potassium loss if you use digoxin and furosemide.

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Diarrhea and vomiting are common side effects of digoxin, according to If these effects persist, you may develop dehydration due to excess loss of fluids in vomit and diarrhea. Furosemide may also cause dehydration because it causes increased removal of fluids from the body. If you are on fluid restrictions, consult your doctor before drinking fluids.

Potassium Loss

Furosemide is a potassium-wasting loop diuretic. This means that it causes excess loss of potassium from your body. Low potassium levels can be dangerous if you are also taking digoxin. You are more likely to develop digoxin toxicity if you have low potassium levels. High potassium levels help prevent digoxin from accumulating in your body. When taking digoxin with furosemide, increase your intake of potassium-rich foods.

Natural Sources of Potassium

The daily recommended dietary intake of potassium is 4.7 g per day, according to National Institutes of Health online medical encyclopedia Medline Plus. You can meet the daily requirements of potassium by eating foods such as bananas, oranges, orange juice, peaches, tomatoes, figs, dates, prunes, dried apricots, milk, yogurt, meat, fish, squash, soy products, lima beans, peas, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, peanut butter and bran.

Symptoms of Potassium Deficiency

Potassium is an essential mineral that is important for the proper function of muscle cells and nerves of the heart and other parts of the body. When taking furosemide, you can develop symptoms of potassium deficiency if you don’t replace potassium that is lost in urine. Potassium deficiency causes symptoms such as such as muscle weakness, abnormal heart rhythm, fatigue and paralysis, according to NetDoctor, a website founded by health-care professionals. Seek immediate medical attention if you notice these symptoms.

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