What is Acetazolamide?

  • Acetazolamide is used to reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness and also decreases headache, tiredness, nausea, dizziness, and shortness of breath that can occur when you climb quickly to high altitudes.
  • Acetazolamide drug is also used with other medications to treat open-angle glaucoma.
  • It also decreases buildup of body fluids (edema) caused by congestive heart failure or certain medications.
  • This drug has also been used with other medications to treat certain types of seizures.
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Uses of Acetazolamide

Acetazolamide is prescribed for:

  • Edema
  • Acute mountain sickness
  • Glaucoma
  • Seizure disorder
Read About: Alce Uses

How does Acetazolamide work?

  • Acetazolamide is a non-competitive inhibitor of carbonic anhydrase, found in cells in the proximal tube of the kidney, the eye, and glial cells.
  • Inhibition of this anhydrase enzyme in the kidney prevents excretion of hydrogen, leading to increased bicarbonate and cation excretion and increased urinary volume, which results in an alkaline diuresis.
  • This drug also reduces the concentration of bicarbonate, resulting in a decreased synthesis of aqueous humor in the eye, thereby lowering intraocular pressure.
Also Read About: Belar Tablet | Anafranil | Atenolol

How to take Acetazolamide?

  • Acetazolamide is administered orally in the form of tablets or capsules.
  • Tablets are usually taken 1 to 4 times daily.
  • Swallow the long-acting capsules whole and do not chew the capsules.
  • To prevent altitude sickness, take acetazolamide 1 to 2 days before you start to climb and continue taking it while you are climbing and for at least 48 hours after you have reached your final altitude.
Know About: Azo Price | Aldactone Composition

Common dosage of Acetazolamide

  • The dose for chronic simple (open-angle) glaucoma ranges from 250 mg to 1 g of acetazolamide every 24 hours, usually in divided doses for amounts over 250 mg.
  • In treatment of secondary glaucoma and closed-angle glaucoma, the preferred dosage is 250 mg every four hours.
  • In seizures such as grand mal, mixed seizure patterns, myoclonic jerk patterns, the optimum range appears to be from 375 to 1000 mg daily.
  • For diuresis in congestive heart failure, initial dose is usually 250 to 375 mg once daily in the morning (5 mg/kg).
  • For drug-induced edema, recommended dosage is 250 to 375 mg of acetazolamide once a day for one or two days.
  • For acute mountain sickness, dosage is 500 mg to 1000 mg daily, in divided doses using tablets or sustained-release capsules as appropriate.
Checkout: Argipreg Dosage | Azro Dosage

When to avoid Acetazolamide & Precautions to take?

  • Avoid using Acetazolamide if you are allergic to it or any other inactive ingredients present along with it.
  • This medicine may rarely make blood sugar rise, which can cause or worsen diabetes.
  • This medication may also lower the blood sugar causing symptoms like sudden sweating, shaking, fast heartbeat, hunger, blurred vision, dizziness or tingling hands or feet.
  • Acetazolamide drug may make you more sensitive to the sun. Thus limit your time in the sun and use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors.
  • Children less than 12 years of age are not advised to use this medicine because it may affect normal growth.
  • Caution is advised in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to its side effects, especially low potassium or sodium levels.
  • Acetazolamide is contraindicated in patients with hyperchloremic acidosis, hypokalemia (low blood potassium), hyponatremia (low blood sodium), adrenal insufficiency, impaired kidney and liver function.
Also Read: Antacid Precaution

Side Effects of Acetazolamide

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Numbness in arms or legs
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination frequency
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Fever and cough
  • Blood in urine
  • Yellowing of skin and eyes
  • Sore throat
  • Unusual bruising
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Altered blood glucose levels
  • Side or groin pain
  • Metallic taste
  • Decreased sexual drive

Effect on organs?

  • General reactions- Tinnitus, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and drowsiness.
  • Dermatologic reactions- Photosensitivity (rare).
  • Nervous system reactions- Paresthesia.

 Reported allergic reactions?

Allergic reactions may include:

  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Rash
  • Wheezing
  • Trouble breathing
  • Swelling of face, throat, hands/legs

Drug interactions to be careful about?

Co-administration of following drugs is not recommended while receiving acetazolamide:

  • Amphetamines
  • Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors
  • Cyclosporine
  • Antifolates (trimethoprim, methotrexate, pemetrexed and raltitrexed)
  • Hypoglycemics
  • Lithium
  • Methenamine
  • Phenytoin
  • Primidone
  • Quinidine
  • Salicylates
  • Sodium bicarbonate
  • Anticoagulants

Shows effects

The effect of this medicine can be observed within 1 to 2 hours of oral administration and lasts for approximately 8 to 24 hours.

 Storage Requirements for Acetazolamide

  • Keep it in an air-tight container.
  • Keep it away from direct light or moisture.
  • Keep it out of reach of children.

Pro Tips when taking Acetazolamide

  • Acetazolamide usually work less well over time, so it is usually used only for a short period.
  • Taking the last dose in the early evening will help prevent you from having to get up in the middle of the night to urinate.
  • This drug may reduce the potassium levels in the blood. It is recommend that you eat foods rich in potassium (e.g., bananas or orange juice) while you are taking this medication.
  • To reduce symptoms like dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a seated or lying position.


Is Acetazolamide addictive?


Can I have Acetazolamide with alcohol?


Any particular food item to be avoided?


Can I have Acetazolamide when pregnant?

Yes; only if benefit outweigh the risks.

Can I have Acetazolamide when feeding a baby?

Yes; only if benefit outweigh the risks.

Can I drive after taking Acetazolamide?


What happens if I overdose on Acetazolamide?

Overdose of Acetazolamide may cause electrolyte imbalance, development of an acidotic state, and central nervous effects

What happens if I eat expired Acetazolamide?

Expired Acetazolamide may become ineffective in treating your prescribed conditions, thus to be on the safe side, it is important not to use expired drug.

What happens if I miss a dose of Acetazolamide?

If you miss a dose of Acetazolamide, skip it and continue with your normal schedule. Do not double dose for a missed one.





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