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Acetazolamide

Acetazolamide is a medication used to reduce the pressure in the eye in patients with open-angle glaucoma.  Glaucoma is an eye condition which can lead to gradual loss of vision. It is also used to reduce the duration and severity of symptoms altitude sickness such as headache, dizziness, stomach upset and fatigue. It is prescribed by physicians to reduce excess fluid retention or edema along with other medications and to control seizure with certain types of epilepsy.

Acetazolamide belongs to the diuretics and carbonic anhydrase inhibitor families of medication. It is listed on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines. It is one of the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. It works by reducing the amount of fluid produced by the central nervous system and the eye. It decreases the amount of bicarbonate and hydrogen ions in the body.

How to use Acetazolamide?

The usual recommended dose of this medication is based on the condition being treated. For the treatment of glaucoma, the recommended dose is 250mg 1 to 4 times a day or every four hours. For the treatment of epilepsy, the recommended dose is 375 mg to 1000 mg in a day. The dose must be divided into 1 to 4 times a day.

This drug comes in a tablet form that you need to take orally. Take this medication exactly as prescribed. Do not take more than what is recommended or longer than the required time. If you missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember.

What are the side effects of Acetazolamide?

Some of the side effects of Acetazolamide are:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Stomach upset
  • Vomiting

Serious side effects are:

  • Rash
  • Fever
  • Confusion
  • Painful urination
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • Blood in the urine
  • Seizure

Seek medical attention right away if you will experience any of the serious side effects mentioned.

Important Information

  • Do not take this drug if you:
    • Are allergic to any of its ingredient
    • Have low potassium or sodium in your blood
    • Have severe liver or kidney dysfunction
  • Tell your doctor if:
    • You have had surgery including dental surgery
    • You are pregnant or breastfeeding
    • You have diabetes, heart, kidney and liver problems
    • You are taking other medications including vitamin and herbal supplements
  • This drug may make your skin sensitive to sunlight. Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight and wear protective clothing, sunscreen and sunglasses.

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