Mannitol intravenous infusion BP

How does it work?

Mannitol is known as an osmotic diuretic. Osmotic diuretics act in the kidney to cause excess body water to be removed from the blood, and converted into urine. Sodium salts draw water out of the blood, and into the kidneys, to be expelled from the body as urine.

Mannitol has a variety of uses. It is used to prevent and treat the low output of urine associated with kidney failure. It is also used to reduce elevated pressure in the brain (cerebral oedema) and in the eyes. Mannitol also promotes the excretion of substances such as aspirin and barbiturates in overdose situations.

What is it used for?

  • Increase removal of toxic substances from the body when they are taken in overdose.
  • Kidney failure associated with low urine output (oliguric renal failure).
  • Raised pressure in the eye (intraocular pressure), eg glaucoma.
  • Swelling in the brain (cerebral oedema).


  • People taking this medicine should have regular blood tests to monitor their kidney function.
  • You should have regular blood tests to monitor the amount of potassium in your blood while you are taking this medicine.
  • It is important to monitor sodium levels while using this medicine.
  • Mannitol should be discontinued should the following conditions arise as a result of the treatment: worsening kidney damage, worsening heart failure and congestion of the lungs.

Use with caution in

  • Congestive heart failure.
  • High blood sodium levels (hypernatraemia)
  • Imbalance of water and salt concentrations in the blood (fluid and electrolyte imbalance).
  • Low blood sodium levels (hyponatraemia).
  • Low volume of circulating blood (hypovolaemia).
  • Severely decreased kidney function.
  • Women who could become pregnant.

Not to be used in

  • Active bleeding within the skull, except during a craniotomy (intracranial bleeding).
  • Fluid accumulation in the air-filled sacs of the lungs (pulmonary oedema).
  • Heart failure.
  • Kidney failure, preventing production of urine (anuria).
  • Severe dehydration.

This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.

If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.

  • This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnancy unless considered essential by your doctor. Seek medical advice from your doctor.
  • The safety of this medicine during breastfeeding has not been established. Seek medical advice from your doctor.

Side effects

Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.

  • Headache.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Difficulty in passing urine (urinary retention).
  • Dry mouth.
  • Chest pain (angina).
  • Seizures (convulsions).
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Excessive fluid retention in the body tissues, resulting in swelling (oedema).
  • Changes in blood pressure.
  • Disturbances of the body's fluid content and the levels of salts dissolved in the blood.
  • Increased acid levels in the blood (metabolic acidosis).

The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.

For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.

How can this medicine affect other medicines?

It is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines while taking this one, to make sure that the combination is safe.

Mannitol may increase the removal of lithium from the body, therefore decreasing its effectiveness.

Other medicines containing the same active ingredient

  • Bronitol - this is an inhaler contain mannitol which is used for the treatment of cystic fibrosis.