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Acetazolamide

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Acetazolamide is a medication that is used to treat glaucoma, a condition in which there is a rise in eye pressure that can cause a gradual loss of vision. Acetazolamide lowers the eye’s pressure. Acetazolamide is also used to lessen the intensity and length of altitude (mountain) sickness symptoms, such as an upset stomach, headache, shortness of breath, dizziness, drowsiness, and weariness. In certain kinds of epilepsy, acetazolamide is combined with other medications to help control seizures and minimise edoema (excess fluid retention).

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you’re interested in using this drug for any other conditions.

How should this medicine be used?

Acetazolamide is available in oral tablet and capsule forms. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Acetazolamide should be taken exactly as prescribed. Never take it in larger or less amounts or more frequently than directed by your doctor.

Do not chew or crush the capsules if you are taking the extended-release (long-acting) version of acetazolamide (Diamox Sequels).

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking acetazolamide,

  • If you have an allergy to acetazolamide, sulfa medications, diuretics (‘water pills’), or any other medications, let your doctor and pharmacist know right once.
  • Amphetamines, aspirin, cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), drugs for depression or irregular heartbeat, digoxin (Lanoxin), diflunisal (Dolobid), diuretics (‘water pills’), lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid), phenobarbital, primidone (Mysoline), and vitamins are especially important to mention to your doctor and pharmacist.
  • Inform your doctor if you currently have, or have previously had, diabetes, liver disease, or renal disease.
  • Inform your doctor if you are expecting, intend to get pregnant, or are nursing a baby. Dial your doctor right away if you get pregnant while taking acetazolamide.
  • Inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking acetazolamide if you are having surgery, including dental surgery.
  • You should be aware that this medication might make you sleepy. Until you are certain of how this medication affects you, do not operate machinery or drive a car.
  • Do not forget that alcohol can increase the drowsiness brought on by this medicine.
  • Make a plan to limit your time spent in the sun and to use sunscreen, sunglasses, and protective clothes. Your skin may become more sun-sensitive if you take acetazolamide.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dosage, take it as soon as you recall. If the next dose is soon due, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing plan. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Acetazolamide could have negative effects. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:

  • Uneasy stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Reduced appetite

Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Irritation and tingling
  • Increased urination and thirst
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Urethral blood
  • Unpleasant urination
  • Skin or eyes turning yellow
  • Seizures
  • Unwell throat
  • Uncommon bruising or bleeding

You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Store it away from excessive heat and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom).

As many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning. http://www.upandaway.org

Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website at http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p for additional information.

In case of emergency/overdose

Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.

What other information should I know?

Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. To determine how you are responding to acetazolamide, your doctor will prescribe a few tests.

Make sure only you take your medication. Any queries you may have regarding medication refills should be directed to your pharmacist.

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Diamox® Sequels®
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