What is acetaZOLAMIDE?
Acetazolamide is a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor. Carbonic anhydrase is a protein in your body. Acetazolamide reduces the activity of this protein.
Acetazolamide is used to treat glaucoma and to treat and to prevent acute mountain sickness (altitude sickness). It is also used as a part of some treatment plans for congestive heart failure and seizure disorders.
Acetazolamide may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a sulfa-based drug such as sulfamethoxazole (e.g., Bactrim, Septra, Gantanol). Acetazolamide is also a sulfa-based drug, and you may have a similar reaction to it.
Before taking acetazolamide, tell your doctor if you
- are on aspirin therapy,
- have liver disease,
- have kidney disease,
- have heart disease,
- have lung disease, or
- have a hormonal disease.
You may not be able to take acetazolamide, or you may require a lower dose or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.
Acetazolamide is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether acetazolamide will harm an unborn baby. Do not take acetazolamide without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant.
Acetazolamide passes into breast milk. It is not known whether acetazolamide will affect a nursing infant. Do not take acetazolamide without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Acetazolamide may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities.
Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight. Acetazolamide may increase the sensitivity of your skin to sunlight. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when exposure to the sun is unavoidable.
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Seek emergency medical attention.
Symptoms of an acetazolamide overdose are not well known, but the following symptoms might be expected: drowsiness, decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, numbness or tingling, shaking, and ringing in the ears.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take only your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.
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If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking acetazolamide and seek emergency medical attention:
- an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
- a sore throat or a fever;
- unusual bleeding or bruising;
- side or groin pain;
- tingling or tremors in your hands or feet; or
- a rash.
Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take acetazolamide and talk to your doctor if you experience
- decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, or changes in taste;
- drowsiness, dizziness, fatigue, or weakness;
- nervousness or mild tremor;
- headache or confusion;
- increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight;
- worsening gout;
- loss of blood sugar control (if you are diabetic);
- ringing in your ears or hearing problems; or
- changes in your vision.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:
- cyclosporine (Sandimmune). Cyclosporine may have more side effects if it is taken with acetazolamide.
- primidone (Mysoline). Primidone may not be as effective if it is taken with acetazolamide, and seizure control may be reduced.
- diflunisal (Dolobid). Diflunisal may increase both the activity and the side effects of acetazolamide.
- aspirin, salsalate (Disalcid, Salflex, Salsitab, others), choline salicylate (Arthropan), magnesium salicylate (Doan's, Magan, Mobidin), and other aspirin-like products (salicylates). These medicines may also interact with acetazolamide, and special monitoring of your therapy may be necessary.
- lithium (Lithobid, Eskalith, others). Acetazolamide may decrease the level of lithium in your blood. Special monitoring or a dosage adjustment may be necessary.
Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with acetazolamide. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.
Diamox, Diamox Sequels, and acetaZOLAMIDE
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