Acetazolamide

Description

Acetazolamide is a medicine that is used to treat glaucoma, an eye condition which may eventually lead to blindness. It is also used to reduce the severity and duration of symptoms caused by altitude or mountain sickness. It can also be used along with other medicines to reduce edema (swelling) or fluid retention associated with certain specific medical conditions as well as control seizures in certain types of epilepsy.

Side effects

Major & minor side effects for Acetazolamide

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Numbness, tingling 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 bleeding or bruising
  • Ringing or buzzing in the ears
  • Altered blood glucose levels
  • Side or groin pain
  • Severe skin rash and hives
  • Change in taste/ Metallic taste
  • Decrease in sexual drive

Uses of Acetazolamide

What is it prescribed for?

  • Edema
  • Acute mountain sickness
  • Glaucoma
  • Seizure disorder
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Concerns

Commonly asked questions

  • Onset of action
    The effect of this medicine can be observed within 1 to 2 hours of oral administration.
  • Duration of effect
    The effect of this medicine lasts for approximately 8 to 24 hours. This time is likely to vary within the mentioned range based on the dosage form of the medicine consumed.
  • Safe with alcohol?
    Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
  • Is it habit forming?
    No habit-forming tendencies were reported.
  • Usage in pregnancy?
    This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women unless absolutely necessary. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before taking this medicine.
  • Usage while breast-feeding?
    This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women unless absolutely necessary. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before taking this medicine. Your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding or to discontinue the drug based on your clinical condition.

Allergy

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients with a known allergy to acetazolamide, any other medicine belonging to the sulphonamide class, or any other inactive ingredients present along with it.

Severe liver impairment

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients suffering from a severe impairment of liver function due to the increased risk of serious adverse effects.

Severe kidney impairment

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients suffering from a severe impairment of kidney function due to the increased risk of serious adverse effects.

Chronic non-congestive angle-closure glaucoma

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients suffering from a chronic non-congestive angle-closure glaucoma due to the increased risk of worsening of the patient's condition.

Addison's disease

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients suffering from Addison's disease (disease of the adrenal glands) due to the increased risk of severe adverse effects.

Altered levels of sodium/potassium/chlorine ions

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients having low blood levels of sodium and/or potassium or high levels of chlorine ions due to the increased risk of worsening of the patient's condition.
Warnings for special population

Pregnancy

This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women unless absolutely necessary. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before taking this medicine.

Breast-feeding

This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women unless absolutely necessary. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before taking this medicine. Your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding or to discontinue the drug based on your clinical condition.
General warnings

Other medicines

This medicine may interact with many other medicines and this may cause serious adverse effects. Hence, it is advised that you report all your current medicines including any herbs and supplements to the doctor before beginning therapy with this medicine.

Use in children

This medicine is not recommended for use in children less than 12 years of age since the safety and efficacy of use are not clinically established.

Use in elderly

This medicine should be used with extreme caution in the elderly patients since the risk of adverse effects is significantly high. Close monitoring of clinical condition, appropriate dose adjustments, or replacement with a suitable alternative may be necessary based on the patient's condition.

Liver diseases

This medicine should be used with caution in patients with a mild to moderate impairment of normal liver function due to the increased risk of severe adverse effects. Close monitoring of liver function tests, appropriate dose adjustments, or replacement with a suitable alternative may be necessary based on the clinical condition of the patient. Use of this medicine is not recommended if the impairment is severe.

Kidney diseases

This medicine should be used with caution in patients with a mild to moderate impairment of normal kidney function due to the increased risk of severe adverse effects. Close monitoring of kidney function tests, appropriate dose adjustments, or replacement with a suitable alternative may be necessary based on the clinical condition of the patient. Use of this medicine is not recommended if the impairment is severe.

Respiratory diseases

This medicine should be used with extreme caution in patients with a history of respiratory diseases such as COPD, respiratory acidosis, etc. since it may worsen the patient's condition. Close monitoring of lung function tests, appropriate dose adjustments, or replacement with a suitable alternative may be necessary based on the patient's condition.

Severe allergic reactions

Use of this medicine may cause severe and life-threatening allergic reactions such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, etc. Report any unusual symptoms to the doctor immediately. Appropriate corrective measures, dose adjustments, or replacement with a suitable alternative may be necessary based on the clinical condition of the patient.

Driving or Operating machinery

Use of this medicine may cause symptoms such as muscle weakness, drowsiness, dizziness, visual disturbances, etc. in some patients. You are advised to avoid activities such as driving a vehicle or operating machinery if you experience any of these symptoms during treatment with this medicine.

Missed Dose

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next scheduled dose, then the missed dose can be skipped. Do not use extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.

Overdose

Contact your doctor or seek emergency medical intervention if an overdose of this medicine is suspected.
All drugs interact differently for person to person. You should check all the possible interactions with your doctor before starting any medicine.
Interaction with Alcohol

Description

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.

Instructions

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
Interaction with Medicine

Dexamethasone

Pimozide

Insulin

Formoterol

Alprazolam

Choline salicylate

Digoxin

Carbamazepine

Amiodarone

Cisapride

Hydrocortisone

Zonisamide

Metformin

Aspirin

Sodium biphosphate

Magnesium salicylate

Disease interactions

Bone Marrow Depression/Blood Dyscrasias

This medicine should be used with extreme caution in patients suffering from bone marrow depression or blood dyscrasias due to the increased risk of worsening of the patient's condition. Close monitoring of complete blood counts is advised for these patients. Appropriate dose adjustments or replacement with a suitable alternative may be necessary based on the clinical condition of the patient.

Respiratory acidosis

This medicine should be used with caution in patients suffering from respiratory acidosis as well as patients with a history of lung diseases such as pulmonary obstruction, emphysema, etc. due to the increased risk of worsening of the patient's condition. Close monitoring of lung function tests, appropriate dose adjustments, or replacement with a suitable alternative may be necessary for these patients based on the clinical condition.

Diabetes Mellitus

This medicine should be used with caution in patients suffering from diabetes mellitus due to the increased risk of altered blood glucose levels and altered blood potassium levels. Close monitoring of blood glucose levels and electrolyte levels is recommended for these patients. Appropriate dose adjustments or replacement with a suitable alternative may be necessary based on the clinical condition of the patient.

Gout

This medicine should be used with caution in patients suffering from gout or gouty arthritis due to the increased risk of worsening of the patient's. Close monitoring of uric acid levels is advised for these patients. Appropriate dose adjustments or replacement with a suitable alternative may be necessary based on the clinical condition of the patient.

Metabolic acidosis

This medicine should be used with caution in patients suffering from metabolic or hyperchloremic acidosis and in patients suffering from conditions which may contribute to acidosis such as kidney diseases, severe respiratory disorders, diarrhea, etc. since it may worsen the patient's condition. Close monitoring of clinical condition, appropriate dose adjustments, or replacement with a suitable alternative may be necessary based on the clinical condition of the patient.
Food interactions
Information not available.
Lab interactions
Information not available.
Take this medicine exactly as prescribed by the doctor. Do not take it in larger or smaller quantities than recommended. Ensure that the course of treatment is completed. Do not stop the use of this medicine without consulting your doctor. Contact your doctor if you experience any persistent symptoms such as fever, severe headache, unusual bleeding or bruising, coffee-colored vomit, etc.
Miscelleneous

Can be taken with or without food, as advised by your doctor

To be taken as instructed by doctor

May cause sleepiness

How it works
This medicine blocks the actions of certain enzymes in the body. This, in turn, relieves the symptoms of altitude/mountain sickness and glaucoma, as well as reduces swelling. It also helps in controlling seizures.
Legal Status

Approved

Approved

Approved

Approved

Classification

Category

Carbonic anhydrase inhibitor anticonvulsants, Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors

Schedule

Schedule H

Acetazolamide [Internet]. Pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. 2018 [cited 10 September 2018]. Available from:

https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/acetazolamide#section=Top

[Internet]. Medicines.org.uk. 2018 [cited 10 September 2018]. Available from:

https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/files/pil.2785.pdf

[Internet]. Mhra.gov.uk. 2018 [cited 10 September 2018]. Available from:

http://www.mhra.gov.uk/home/groups/spcpil/documents/spcpil/con1512105869153.pdf

DailyMed - Acetazolamide capsule, extended release [Internet]. Dailymed.nlm.nih.gov. 2018 [cited 10 September 2018]. Available from:

https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=a0dc2da1-f42f-483a-83de-56ad81b728df

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Information on this page was last updated on 11 Sep 2018

Disclaimer

We’ve made all possible efforts to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, up-to-date and complete, however, it should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Practo only provides reference source for common information on medicines and does not guarantee its accuracy or exhaustiveness. The absence of a warning for any drug or combination thereof, should not be assumed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for any given patient. Practo does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information provided above. If you have any doubts about your medication then we strongly recommend that you consult with your doctor, nurse or healthcare provider. See detailed T&C here.