Diamox SR is primarily used to prevent and treat altitude sickness and can also be used to treat certain types of glaucoma and epilepsy. It contains the active substance acetazolamide.
Acetazolamide works by blocking certain enzymes called carbonic anhydrase. This reduces the production of bicarbonate in the body, which leads to an increase in urine production and a decrease in fluid within the eye.
Use and Dosage
Acetazolamide comes in the form of Capsule to take by mouth usually 1 to 4 times a day, while for the long-acting capsules, you will take them 1 or 2 times a day. Swallow these capsules whole, without opening, breaking, or chewing them, as doing so may reduce the effectiveness of the medication and increase the risk of side effects. Take the capsules with or without food, but drink plenty of fluids unless otherwise advised by your doctor. The dosage will be based on your medical condition and response to the treatment.
If you are taking Acetazolamide to prevent altitude sickness, you should start taking it 1 to 2 days before you start climbing and continue taking it until at least 48 hours after you have reached your final altitude. If you experience severe altitude sickness, you should descend as quickly as possible as Acetazolamide will not protect you against the serious effects of this condition.
For other conditions like glaucoma or seizures, take Acetazolamide regularly as prescribed to get the most benefit. Try to take it at the same time every day, and taking your last dose in the early evening may help prevent the need to urinate during the night. If you have any questions about your dosing schedule, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed, as it will not improve your condition any faster and may increase your risk of side effects. Your doctor will be monitoring your condition and may adjust your dose if needed. If your condition does not improve or worsens, inform your doctor immediately.
Common Side Effects of Diamox SR (Acetazolamide):
- Altered sense of taste
- Hearing problems
- Increased urination
- Loss of appetite
- Numbness or tingling, especially in your arms and legs
- Ringing in your ears
Serious Side Effects of Diamox SR (Acetazolamide):
- A blood cell disorder: sudden weakness or ill feeling, fever, chills, sore throat, mouth sores, pale skin, feeling tired or short of breath, rapid heart rate, nosebleeds, bleeding gums;
- A seizure (convulsions)
- Blood in urine or stools
- Liver problems: nausea, upper stomach pain or swelling, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
- Loss of movement in any part of your body
- Severe skin reaction: fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling
- Signs of a kidney stone: pain in your side or lower back, blood in your urine, painful or difficult urination
- Signs of metabolic acidosis: confusion, vomiting, lack of energy, irregular heartbeats
Forms and Strength
Diamox SR (Acetazolamide) is available in the following forms and strength:
- 250 mg
- Use with caution in elderly patients or those with potential obstruction in the urinary tract.
- Diamox SR may cause dizziness, fatigue, and other side effects. Patients should be advised not to drive or operate machinery until they know how the medication affects them.
- Acetazolamide may interact with other medications, including diuretics, corticosteroids, and salicylates.
- Acetazolamide may worsen liver or kidney function in patients with pre-existing conditions.
- Acetazolamide is used with caution in patients with a history of sulfonamide allergy.
- Acetazolamide is used with caution in patients with a history of kidney or liver disease.
- May cause electrolyte imbalances, which can lead to serious complications in some patients.
- Diamox SR is used with caution in patients with diabetes, as acetazolamide can affect blood sugar levels.
- Diamox SR may cause increased sensitivity to sunlight or skin rashes in some patients.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can Diamox SR (Acetazolamide) be taken with food?
Yes, Diamox SR (Acetazolamide) can be taken with or without food. However, taking it with food may help to lessen stomach upset.
Does Diamox SR (Acetazolamide) cure altitude sickness?
No, Diamox SR (Acetazolamide) does not cure altitude sickness, but can help to prevent or alleviate symptoms.
Can Diamox SR (Acetazolamide) be taken during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
Diamox SR (Acetazolamide) should be avoided by pregnant and breastfeeding women, as it may harm the fetus or baby.