Acetazolamide is a drug of which most people have not heard. It is known as a carbonic-anhydrase inhibitor. It is used for treatment of one or more of the following:
Some forms of mountain sickness and
Swelling caused by drugs or congestive heart failure.
Operating as a diuretic, Acetazolamide blocks carbonic anhydrase. With regard to glaucoma, this helps to get rid of at least part of the pressure inside of the eye. It works to prevent seizures, which makes it a good medication for the treatment of epilepsy.
Acetazolamide, of course, has potential side effects just like any other medication. The most common among those are alteration of taste, diarrhea, general weakness, loss of appetite, increased urination, moments of confusion, nausea and vomiting, sleepiness, tingling in the extremities and weight loss. Many of these symptoms will disappear once the body has become use to the medication.
There are also some more severe side effects attached to this drug. These could include, but may not be limited to, decreased urine output, difficulty urinating, low back pain and painful urination. Anyone experiencing those problems should notify a physician as quickly as possible.
Rare, but dangerous side effects may also occur. These can include alteration of mental status, blood sugar increase or decrease, liver disease and muscle impairment. These side effects are cause for concern. Anyone experiencing them should report immediately to an urgent care facility.
Certain individuals make poor candidates for Acetazolamide protocol. These include individuals who have Addison’s Disease, diabetes, kidney or liver disease and/or low potassium levels. People who are allergic to sulfa drugs also make poor candidates for this drug.
Certain medications may interact with Acetazolamide and cause other health issues. These include any kind of anticholinergics and stimulants. Even over-the-counter drugs of this kind are ill advised.
People who have experienced an organ transplant may not be able to take Acetazolamide. It could prevent acceptance of the new organ or increase the likelihood of seizures.
The dosage amount of Acetazolamide will vary according to the problem for which it is prescribed and the health of the patient. The usual dosage for use in glaucoma patients ranges between 250 to 1000 milligrams per day.
Acetazolamide used for congestive heart failure averages out about 2.5 micrograms per pound per patient. The same rate applies to conditions caused by drug-induced swelling.
Epilepsy patients are generally afforded between 375 and 1000 milligrams per day. Dosage; however, is divided over several hours.
For mountain sickness, the dosage amount ranges between 500 and 1000 milligrams per day. The drug must; however, be given within 48 hours of the disease’s formation.
Acetazolamide generally comes in pill form and should be taken exactly as prescribed by the physician. An overdose of this medication could result in bodily harm and should be reported as soon as possible. First induce vomiting to get rid of as much of the drugs as possible, then contact a local or federal drug hotline for further instruction.
High doses of Acetazolamide can result in birth defects. Therefore the medication is rarely prescribed to pregnant women or women who are still breast-feeding.
Senior citizens may be more sensitive to the side effects of Acetazolamide. Therefore, it is essential that they be monitored constantly. This drug is rarely used to treat children.
Store Acetazolamide at room temperature, away from sources of heat or cold and out of the light. If medication is left over, contact a pharmacist for instructions concerning its disposal.
The Pill Book, 14th Edition by Bantam Books