Comparing torsemide versus furosemide in patients with heart failure: A meta-analysis

J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2019 May-Jun;59(3):432-438. doi: 10.1016/j.japh.2019.01.014. Epub 2019 Mar 4.


Objectives: To compare the efficacy and safety of torsemide versus furosemide in patients with heart failure (HF).

Data sources: Medline, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, and Google Scholar database searches for relevant articles from 1946 to May 2018 were performed with the use of the key words torsemide and furosemide.

Study selection: Studies were included if they met the following criteria: (1) cohort studies or randomized controlled trials of adult patients 18 years of age or older who received oral torsemide or furosemide for HF with reduced or preserved ejection fraction; and (2) studies that reported mortality rate, rehospitalization rate for HF or cardiovascular disease (CVD), or New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class changes.

Data extraction: Efficacy outcomes were mortality from any cause, rehospitalization for HF, rehospitalization for CVD, and NYHA functional class improvement. Safety outcome included hypokalemia.

Results: In the 5 included studies, there was no significant difference in mortality between torsemide and furosemide (odds ratio [OR] 1.00, 95% CI 0.58-1.72; P = 0.99; I2 = 79%). There was no significant difference in rehospitalization rates for HF (OR 0.79, 95% CI 0.57-1.09; P = 0.15; I2 = 64%) or CVD (OR 0.83, 95% CI 0.62-1.12; P = 0.22; I2 = 40%) between torsemide- and furosemide-treated patients. The use of torsemide was associated with significant improvement in NYHA functional class compared with furosemide (OR 1.44, 95% CI 1.18-1.76; P = 0.0004; I2 = 0%).

Conclusion: Our meta-analysis showed that torsemide is associated with statistically significant improvement in NYHA functional class for patients with HF compared with furosemide. However, torsemide did not provide significant benefits in reducing mortality or rehospitalization rates for HF or CVD compared with furosemide. The authors suggest switching from furosemide to torsemide in patients with HF not achieving symptomatic control with the use of furosemide despite maximizing guideline-directed medical therapy and furosemide dosing.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Databases, Factual
  • Furosemide / adverse effects
  • Furosemide / therapeutic use*
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy*
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality
  • New York
  • Patients
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Torsemide / adverse effects
  • Torsemide / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Furosemide
  • Torsemide