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Diamox (Acetazolamide) is a prescription medication used to treat various medical conditions, such as glaucoma, epilepsy, altitude sickness, and periodic paralysis. Acetazolamide belongs to a class of drugs known as carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. It contains the active ingredient acetazolamide and works by controlling certain substances in the body's chemistry to decrease production of fluid inside the eye.
Acetazolamide can be taken orally depending on the condition being treated. It can help reduce the symptoms of headache, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, and breathlessness that may arise when ascending rapidly to high altitudes (typically higher than 10,000 feet/3,048 meters).
Uses and Dosage
Diamox (Acetazolamide) usually comes in the form of a tablet and should be taken by mouth as directed on the prescription label. The tablet can be taken with or without food, but if it causes stomach upset, it should be taken with food. It is important to take the medication at the same time every day, and to continue taking it unless otherwise directed by your healthcare provider. It is important to speak to your healthcare provider about using this medication in children, as care may be needed.
- The recommended starting dosage of Diamox (Acetazolamide) for Glaucoma is usually 500 mg followed by 250 mg or 125 mg every four hours, depending on the case in question. The dose may need to be adjusted with careful individual attention to symptomatology and intraocular tension.
- The recommended dosage of Diamox (Acetazolamide) tablets for Acute Mountain Sickness is 500 mg to 1000 mg daily, in divided doses using tablets. In circumstances of rapid ascent, such as in rescue or military operations, the higher dose level of 1000 mg is recommended. However, initiate dosing 24 to 48 hours before ascent and continue for 48 hours while at high altitude, or longer as necessary to control symptoms.
Common Side Effects of Acetazolamide:
- Altered sense of taste
- Hearing problems and ringing in your ears
- Increased urination
- Loss of appetite
- Numbness or tingling, especially in your arms and legs
Serious Side Effects of Acetazolamide:
- A blood cell disorder
- A seizure (convulsions)
- Blood in urine or stools
- Liver problems:
- Loss of movement in any part of your body
- Severe skin reaction
- Burning in your eyes
- Causes blistering
- Skin pain followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads
- Sore throat
- Swelling in your face or tongue
- Signs of a kidney stone
- Blood in your urine
- Pain in your side or lower back
- Painful or difficult urination
Form and strength
Diamox (Acetazolamide) is available in the following forms and strength:
- Inform their doctor and pharmacist if they are allergic to Acetazolamide, sulfa drugs, diuretics ('water pills'), or any other drugs. Patients should also inform their doctor of any prescription and nonprescription medications they are taking, particularly amphetamines, aspirin, cyclosporine, medications for depression or irregular heartbeat, diflunisal (Dolobid), digoxin (Lanoxin), diuretics ('water pills'), lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid), phenobarbital, primidone (Mysoline), and vitamins.
- Patients should inform their doctor if they have or have ever had heart, liver, or kidney disease, or diabetes.
- If you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding you should inform your doctor. If patients become pregnant while taking acetazolamide, they should call their doctor immediately.
- Patients should inform their doctor or dentist if they are having surgery, including dental surgery, and should be aware that this drug may cause drowsiness.
- Do not drive a car or operate machinery until they know how this drug affects them and should be aware that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug.
- Avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and should wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen, as acetazolamide may make their skin sensitive to sunlight.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is Acetazolamide safe to use long-term?
Acetazolamide is considered safe to use long-term, but patients should consult their doctor before taking the medication for a long time.
Is Acetazolamide safe for pregnant women?
Acetazolamide is not recommended for pregnant women, as it can cause harm to the fetus if taken during pregnancy. Patients should consult with their doctor before taking Acetazolamide if they are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
Can Acetazolamide be used to treat high blood pressure?
Acetazolamide is not typically used to treat high blood pressure but can be used with other medications to help reduce it. Patients should consult with their doctor before taking Acetazolamide to treat high blood pressure.
What happens if I overdose on Acetazolamide (Diamox)?
If you think you or someone else may have overdosed on: Acetazolamide (Diamox), call your doctor or the Poison Control center.
It's important to purchase Diamox from verified Canadian pharmacy.