Bumetanide. A review of its pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties and therapeutic use.

PMID 6391889


Bumetanide is a potent 'loop' diuretic for the treatment of oedema associated with congestive heart failure, hepatic and renal diseases, acute pulmonary congestion and premenstrual syndrome and in forced diuresis during and after surgery. Bumetanide may be given orally, intravenously or intramuscularly and produces a rapid and marked diuresis, and increased urinary excretion of sodium, chloride and other electrolytes (within 30 minutes) which persists for 3 to 6 hours. Its principal site of action is on the ascending limb of the loop of Henle, with a secondary action on the proximal tubule. Pharmacologically, bumetanide is about 40-fold more potent than frusemide (furosemide), with the exception of its effects on urinary potassium excretion where its potency is lower. Studies in patients with oedema due to congestive heart failure, pulmonary oedema or hepatic disease show that oral or intravenous bumetanide 0.5 to 2 mg/day produces results comparable to those with frusemide 20 to 80 mg/day. In acute pulmonary oedema, intravenous bumetanide produces a very rapid diuresis. Higher doses of bumetanide may be required (up to 15 mg/day) in patients with chronic renal failure or nephrotic syndrome. In these patients muscle cramps are not uncommon with bumetanide, but glomerular filtration rates are unaffected. In most studies, diuretic effects were accompanied by decreased bodyweight, abdominal girth and improvements in a variety of haemodynamic parameters. Comparison of bumetanide with frusemide at a dose ratio of 1 : 40 reveals no significant differences in clinical response with the exception of renal disease, where patients with oedema appear to respond better to bumetanide. Combination with thiazide diuretics enhances the clinical response to bumetanide. Potassium supplements and spironolactone may be beneficial additions to bumetanide where patients at risk of hypokalaemia can be identified. Clinically important side effects are infrequent, with audiological impairment occurring to a lesser extent than with frusemide. Bumetanide thus offers an important alternative to frusemide when a 'loop' diuretic is indicated.

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Bumetanide, ≥98%
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