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Information about Acetazolamide

Acetazolamide and methazolamide are carbonic anhydrase inhibitors used as diuretics and in the therapy of glaucoma.


Liver safety of Acetazolamide

Both acetazolamide and methazolamide have been linked to rare cases of clinically apparent drug induced liver disease.

Mechanism of action of Acetazolamide

Acetazolamide (a seet" a zol' a mide) and methazolamide (meth" a zol' a mide) are inhibitors of carbonic anhydrase, an enzyme that converts carbon dioxide and water to carbonic acid. Inhibition of this enzyme in the kidney causes an alkalization of the urine and diuresis. In the eye, inhibition of carbonic anhydrase causes a decrease in intraocular pressure making these agents valuable in the treatment of glaucoma. The effects of acetazolamide on acid-base status (causing a mild metabolic acidosis) are also of potential value in managing other conditions including epilepsy, sleep apnea, and acute mountain sickness. Acetazolamide was approved for use in the United States in 1986 for treatment of glaucoma and as a diuretic. Acetazolamide is available in 125 and 250 mg tablets in generic forms and under the brand name of Diamox. Acetazolamide is also available in extended release forms (capsules of 500 mg) and as powder for injection. The recommended dose and regimen of acetazolamide varies by indication, but for chronic use in adults the typical dose is 250 to 1,000 mg daily in divided doses.

Side effects of Acetazolamide

The common side effects of acetazolamide and methazolamide are change in taste, numbness and tingling in fingers and toes, blurred vision, tinnitus, dizziness, decrease in hearing, polyuria, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, and headache. Methazolamide and acetazolamide have similar chemical structures and are related to the sulfonamides and can cause allergic reactions including anaphylaxis, rash, erythema multiforme, and Stevens Johnson Syndrome.

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