Lasix Changes Name to Lasixtoeight. "Lasts Six Hours" Called False Advertising.

Bridgewater, NJ -- Sanofi-Aventis was forced to change the brand name of its loop diuretic furosemide from Lasix to Lasixtoeight yesterday after the drug maker admitted knowing all along Lasix lasts six to eight hours and not six hours as the name implied.

Attending nurses, pharmacists and physicians have been telling students for decades that  Lasix stands for "lasts six hours".  This teaching moment has helped propel brand name Lasix to cult drug status, unmatched by any other medication in the pharmaceutical world, except perhaps the excitement of the adenosine pause.

Generic furosemide is rarely prescribed because the story of brand name Lasix has been universally enjoyed on rounds by medical, pharmacy and nursing students for decades.   As most students mature, they naturally prefer Lasix over furosemide and all other diuretics.

"What the Hell is furosemide.  Never heard of it," said Dr Mark Fleming, Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Harvard Medical School, who also admits telling the 'lasts six hours' story at least seven thousand times during his tenure at Harvard.  "Sometimes I'll order Lasix on a patient just so I can tell the story again," said Dr Fleming.

Very few attending pharmacists and nurses are comfortable dispensing furosemide because of their lack of familiarity.

"If our 3 a.m. chart checks discover an order for furosemide, I have instructed our floor nurses to call the doctor immediately and get conversion dosing to Lasix before the morning dose is due hours later on the next shift,"  said Nancy Parkman, Director of Nursing at Lakeview Nursing Home in Bridgewater, New Jersey.  

As students mature, most tire quickly of the excitement attending physicians display in telling Lasix lore.  "As a resident, I only write for furosemide, out of spite," said Sandy Wigham, a first year intern who also enjoys going straight to 12 mg of Adenosine inside of 6 mg.  

Internal documents obtained from the US Food and Drug Administration confirm the drug maker has known for  decades that using the name 'Lasix' would give the drug an unfair marketing advantage over competing loop diuretics, Bumex and Demadex.

"Who's going to order Lasixtoeight?  I can't even pronounce it," said Pamela Stevens the Sanofi-Aventis drug rep who lost her job selling Lasix as a result of the name change.  "Most doctors won't presecribe something they can't pronounce."

Feeling the heat from investors, Sanofi called $4-a-month generic furosemide a garbage drug and responded by offering a one month supply of  Lasixtoeight for $80 instead of the normal $300 charged for brand name Lasix.  

Shortly after the Lasix name change, Roche Labs, owner of competing diuretic Bumex, filed an FDA application to change the name of Bumex to Lasix after fudging data to show diuretic activity was actually just six hours instead of six to eight hours like Lasixtoeight. They are hoping nobody at the FDA will notice the change. 

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