Ethacrynic acid is a diuretic with a significant inhibitory action of reabsorption of electrolytes especially at the level of the ascending limb of Henle. It is administered orally or intravenously to patients with severe edematous forms that do not respond adequately to other diuretics.

The mechanism of action is still unclear, but it is believed to act by inhibiting the reabsorption of sodium ions (Na +) along the nephron, by reacting with sulfhydryl groups of cellular proteins.


What is Ethacrynic acid?


The main objective of ethacrynic acid is, similar to all diuretics, to encourage the production and the elimination of urine. In particular, this drug is used mostly on patients with severe edematous forms that do not respond adequately to treatment with other diuretics.


How should Ethacrynic acid be taken?


The ethacrynic acid is available for oral as well as intravenous use.


Side effects associated with Ethacrynic acid


The main recognized adverse effects resulting from the use of this drug include:


  • Electrolyte imbalance (dehydration) characterized by: nausea or vomiting, weakness or fatigue, hypotension, thirst, dry mouth, muscle cramps , mood alterations, mental confusion, hyponatremia, hypercalcemia, hypoglycemia, hyperuricemia;
  • Blood dyscrasias (abnormal condition or disorder of the constituents of blood);
  • Gastrointestinal disorders: nausea, vomiting, dysphagia, abdominal pain;
  • Systemic disorders: headache, fever;
  • Kidney disorders
  • Disorders of the vestibular system: tinnitus, hearing loss, vertigo


Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Ethacrynic acid


Ethacrynic acid is contraindicated in women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and children under the age of two. Moreover, this medication must also be administered with caution in patients with advanced liver cirrhosis. Similar to other diuretics, ethacrynic acid may lead to a hepatic coma.