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January 12, 1976

Furosemide Abuse Without Apparent Adverse Effect

JAMA. 1976;235(2):146. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260280014014

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To the Editor.—  A 36-year-old woman, physically healthy but with a neurotic compulsion to lose weight, surreptitiously obtains and takes furosemide (Lasix) in doses of 1,200 to 1,600 mg daily for periods of several weeks. She has done this regularly over the past three years. The patient has submitted to regular examinations and blood and urine studies and admits to gross neurotic behavior, but is unable to discontinue use of the drug. All sorts of attempts to stop her have been futile.There is no evidence of renal dysfunction or major clinical malady other than a general fatigue or malaise. Occasionally the potassium and chloride levels have fallen below normal, and carbon dioxide levels rise above the normal, but they are easily corrected in the hospital. Glucose and uric acid levels are occasionally elevated, but more often are normal. The calcium content has not been altered. The blood urea nitrogen