ACETAZOLAMIDE (ORAL)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Diamox

GENERIC NAME(S): ACETAZOLAMIDE

 

Description: Acetazolamide reversibly inhibits the enzyme carbonic anhydrase which works by decreasing the amount of fluid that can build up in the eye and other ody fluids.

  • Prevention and reduction of altitude sickness symptoms such as headache, tiredness, nausea, dizziness, and shortness of breath
  • Also used in the treatment of open-angle glaucoma, certain types of seizures and periodic paralysis

 How to use acetazolamide

  • Always refer to your doctors instructions before taking this medication. Duration and dosage will be determined by your medical condition and its response to the medication. Make sure to take this medication in the prescribed amount and time period even after symptoms disappear. Discontinuing the medication before completion of treatment may cause incomplete treatment of condition. If Symptoms persist, consult your doctor
  • Taken by mouth; With or without food; usually once up to four times a day or as directed by your physician;
  • For prevention of altitude sickness, start taking acetazolamide 1 to 2 days before the climb and continue taking it during and until at least 48 hours after reaching final altitude

Not available.

  • Minor side effects (if these symptoms persist or worsen, inform your doctor)
    • Dizziness, lightheadedness, and an increased amount of urine, blurred vision, dry mouth, drowsiness, loss of appetite, stomach upset, headache and tiredness
  • Serious side effects (inform your doctor immediately)
    • increased body hair, hearing loss, ringing in the ears, unusual tiredness, persistent nausea/vomiting, severe stomach/abdominal pain, easy bleeding/bruising, fast/irregular heartbeat, signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat), mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion, difficulty concentrating), severe muscle cramps/pain, tingling of the hands/feet, blood in the urine, dark urine, painful urination, yellowing of the eyes/skin.
  • Severe allergic reactions are rare. Get immediate medical help if you notice the following:
    • Rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing

Precautions

  • Inform your doctor
    • Allergy to the medication or any allergies
    • Medical History of adrenal gland problems (e.g., Addison’s disease), low blood levels of sodium or potassium, severe kidney disease, severe liver disease (e.g., cirrhosis), certain metabolic problems (e.g., hyperchloremic acidosis), breathing problems (e.g., emphysema, chronic bronchitis), high levels of calcium, dehydration, diabetes mellitus, gout, narrow-angle glaucoma, overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).
  • May not completely prevent serious altitude sickness. Symptoms of serious altitude sickness may include:
    • severe shortness of breath, mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion, difficulty concentrating), lack of coordination/staggering walk, extreme tiredness, severe headache.
    • If you develop any of these symptoms, immediately descend to a lower altitude as quickly as possible to prevent serious complications and death.
  • May cause dizziness or drowsiness. Limit alcohol intake. To minimize dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a seated or lying position.
  • May cause elevated blood sugar levels, which can cause or worsen diabetes.
  • May cause light sensitivity (photosensitivity)
    • Avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths or sunlamps
    • Sunscreen and protective clothing are recommended when outdoors.
  • Should only be used when there is a clear need during pregnancy as it may harm an unborn baby. If you are planning to be pregnant or think you may be pregnant, discuss the risks and benefits of use with your doctor.
  • Consult your doctor before breast-feeding as this medication passes into breast milk and although adverse effects are unlikely

 

Interactions

Taking multiple drugs may affect how medications work and/or cause unwanted side effects. List down all the medications you are taking and inform your physician and pharmacist. Do not take, discontinue, or alter any dose of medications without prior approval of your physician.

  • Products that may interact with this medication include:
    • cisapride, methenamine. anticonvulsants (e.g., phenytoin, primidone, phenobarbital, topiramate, zonisamide), other diuretics similar to this medication (carbonic anhydrase inhibitors such as brinzolamide, dorzolamide), cyclosporine, digoxin, drugs that cause loss of potassium (e.g., diuretics such as furosemide, corticosteroids such as prednisone, amphotericin B), lithium, memantine, quinidine, salicylates (e.g., aspirin, bismuth subsalicylate), sodium bicarbonate, tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline).
  • Double check all the labels of the medications you are currently taking as they may contain medications (e.g., anti-diarrhea drugs, pain relievers/fever reducers) similar to aspirin, which can cause serious side effects when taken with acetazolamide. If your doctor prescribed you low dose aspirin, continue to take it unless you are told otherwise
  • Check the labels on all your medicines (including NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, naproxen) because they may contain ingredients that could worsen control of your edema

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and as soon as you remember, take a regular dose or if the time of the next dose is near, wait for it before taking another dose and resume your usual schedule. Do not increase the dose to compensate for the missed dose.

Storage

  • Room temperature
  • Do not expose to light and moisture
  • Do not store in the bathroom
  • Keep all medications away from pets and children

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