Lasix is not a hormone compound but a diuretic. It belongs to the group of saluretics and to be exact is a loop diuretic. Its effect consists of distinctly increased excretion of sodium, chloride, potassium, and water. A very important characteristic which must be absolutely monitored with loop diuretics is the reabsorption of potassium ions, sodium ions, and chloride ions. This causes a considerable disturbance of the electrolyte household. Due to its intense effect on water excretion Lasix is used for treatment of edemas and high blood pressure. Bodybuilders use Lasix shortly before a competition to excrete excessive, mostly subcutaneous, water so that they appear hard, defined, and ripped to the bone when in the limelight. The effect of tablets begins within an hour and continues for 3-4 hours. Depending on how much water is still in the athletes body he must have more or less frequent access to a restroom. This can cause a considerable weight loss within a very short time. For this reason, athletes often use Lasix to lose weight and to compete in a lower weight class. Athletes usually prefer the oral form of the compound. Bodybuilders occasionally use the injectable and intravenous version the morning of the competition since it becomes immediately effective when the athlete, due to a more or less strongly remaining water. This, however, can also produce the opposite effect. That is, the muscles become small and flat; the athlete loses vascularity, and has no pump during warm-up when during a very short time too much water and minerals are lost. It is thus possible that some pro or top amateur shortly before the beginning of a competition as a last countermeasure is seen with a bag of glucose solution being injected intravenously so that the blood volume rises again. In order to compensate for the potassium loss many athletes take potassium chloride tablets. This, however, involves a certain risk since an overdose of potassium can cause cardiac arrest. In our experience, Lasix is taken in the last two days before a competition.
The amount of the dosage, the duration of application, and the intervals of intake usually depend on the diuretic effect or the athlete s shape. Bodybuilders usually take a half or whole 40 mg tablet and wait to see what happens. Some repeat this procedure once or twice in an interval of a few hours. Lasix is the strongest diuretic and the most dangerous compound in bodybuilders arsenal of medicine.
Side effects can include circulatory disturbances, dizziness, dehydration, muscle cramps, vomiting, circulatory collapse, diarrhea, and fainting. In extreme cases cardiac arrest is possible. This also seems to have been the cause of death for Austrian bodybuilder Heinz Sallmayer, who passed away during the 1980’s, and for Mohammed Benaziza, who died in October 1992. Extreme caution is advised when athletes who are already substantially drained and dehydrated continue their loop diuretic treatment with a “make it or die attitude,” or even continue the intake altogether with a completely reduced liquid intake.
ATTENTION: The 500 mg tablet version must not be used under any circumstances by persons with a normal kidney function. Loop diuretics are prescription drugs and are only available in pharmacies. The compound Lasix by Hoechst Company, for example, is sold in packages containing 20 tablets of 40 mg each.