What Is Mannitol?

Mannitol is a natural substance that causes osmosis and diuresis, which results in loss of body water. Mannitol acts on the kidneys by causing an increase in filtration and preventing water reabsorption in the kidney tubules. Mannitol (brand name, Osmitrol) was approved for use by the FDA in 1964 and is currently among the World Health Organization's list of important medications.

What Is Mannitol Used for?

Mannitol is a diuretic, or a drug that increases your urine output. It is often used to prevent or treat excess water accumulation in the body, which may occur in kidney disease, brain swelling, or increases eye (intraocular) pressure. It increases fluid excretion through the kidneys and helps reduce pressure in your brain or eyes.

Mannitol is available as an intravenous injection, which comes in various concentrations (5%, 10%, 15%, 20% and 25%) and bottle sizes.

How Is It Administered?

Mannitol injections are usually administered in hospitals, doctor's offices, or clinics. Mannitol dosage differs for its various uses and indications:

Mannitol Dosage for Adults and Children

Mannitol dose varies based on the condition being treated.

1. Adult Mannitol Dose

1.5 to 2 g/kg body weight, IV infusion over 30 to 60 minutes

1.5 to 2 g/kg body weight, as 15% to 25% solution, IV infusion over 30 to 60 minutes

Test dose: 200 mg/kg IV infusion, over 3 to 5 minutes

Loading mannitol dose: 500-1000 mg/kg body weight (1 dose)

Maintenance mannitol dose: 250-500 mg/kg body weight, every 4-6 hours

2. Pediatric Mannitol dosage

Mannitol should be discontinued if there is no urine output within 2 hours.


Mannitol Side Effects

Contact your doctor/nurse immediately if any of these side effects occur while using Mannitol:


Less common

Some of these side effects can occur, but may not need treatment. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or reduce some side effects. Tell your doctor if they persist or become worse.

Mannitol Safety Information

DON’T use mannitol or tell your doctor if you have any of the above conditions:

Before you use mannitol, tell your doctor if you have these medical conditions, which may interact with the use of mannitol:

Important safety information:

Proper Storage

Mannitol is stored by health care providers and hospitals. If it is being used at home, store it as directed by your healthcare provider or pharmacist. Always keep it out of children’s reach.

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