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trademark for preparations of acetazolamide, a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor used in treatment of glaucoma, epilepsy, mountain sickness, and other conditions.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


Acetazolam (CA), AK-Zol, Apo-Acetazolamide (CA), Diamox (CA), Diamox Sequels

Pharmacologic class: Carbonic anhydrase inhibitor

Therapeutic class: Diuretic, antiglaucoma drug, anticonvulsant, altitude agent, urinary alkalinizer

Pregnancy risk category C


Inhibits carbonic anhydrase in kidney, decreasing water reabsorption and increasing excretion of sodium, potassium, and bicarbonate. Lowers intraocular pressure by decreasing aqueous humor production. May raise seizure threshold by reducing carbonic anhydrase in CNS, thereby decreasing neuronal conduction.


Capsules (sustained-release): 500 mg

Injection: 500 mg/vial

Tablets: 125 mg, 250 mg

Indications and dosages

Open-angle (chronic simple) glaucoma (given with miotics)

Adults: 250 mg P.O. one to four times daily, or 500-mg sustained-release capsule P.O. once or twice daily. Don't exceed total daily dosage of 1 g.

Preoperative treatment of closed-angle (secondary) glaucoma

Adults: 250 mg P.O. q 4 hours or 250 mg P.O. b.i.d.; in acute cases only, 500 mg P.O. followed by 125 to 250 mg P.O. q 4 hours. For rapid relief of increased intraocular pressure, 500 mg I.V., repeated in 2 to 4 hours; then 125 to 250 mg P.O. q 4 to 6 hours.

Children: 10 to 15 mg/kg/day P.O. in divided doses q 6 to 8 hours, or 5 to 10 mg/kg I.V. q 6 hours

Seizure disorder (given with other anticonvulsants)

Adults and children: 250 mg P.O. daily when given with another anticonvulsant, or 8 to 30 mg/kg daily P.O. in one to four divided doses. Usual dosage range is 375 mg to 1 g daily.

Drug-induced edema or edema secondary to heart failure

Adults: Initially, 250 to 375 mg P.O. daily. If diuresis fails, give dose on alternate days, or give for 2 days alternating with day of rest.

Children: 5 mg/kg P.O. daily, or 150 mg/m2 P.O. or I.V. once daily in morning

Acute high-altitude (mountain) sickness

Adults: 500 mg to 1 g P.O. daily in divided doses, or sustained-release capsule q 12 to 24 hours. Dosing should begin 24 to 48 hours before ascent and continue during ascent and for 48 hours after reaching desired altitude. For rapid ascent, 1-g P.O. dose is recommended.

Dosage adjustment

• Mild renal failure

Off-label uses

• Acute pancreatitis

• Alkalosis after open-heart surgery

• Hereditary ataxia

• Peptic ulcer

• Periodic paralysis

• Renal calculi

• Phenobarbital or lithium overdose

• Hydrocephalus in infants


• Hypersensitivity to drug or sulfonamides

• Adrenocortical insufficiency

• Closed-angle glaucoma

• Severe pulmonary obstruction

• Severe renal disease, hypokalemia, hyponatremia

• Hepatic disease


Use cautiously in:

• respiratory, renal, or hepatic disease; diabetes mellitus, hypercalcemia, gout, adrenocortical insufficiency

• pregnant or breastfeeding patients.


Before giving, ask if patient is pregnant. Drug may cause fetal toxicity.

• Direct I.V. administration is preferred. When giving by direct I.V. route, reconstitute 500-mg vial with more than 5 ml of sterile water for injection; administer over 1 minute.

• When giving drug intermittently by I.V. infusion, further dilute with normal saline solution or dextrose solution and infuse over 4 to 8 hours.

• Be aware that I.M. administration is painful because solution is alkaline.

• If necessary, crush tablets and mix in nonsweet, nonalcoholic syrup or non-glycerin solution.

Adverse reactions

CNS: weakness, nervousness, irritability, drowsiness, confusion, dizziness, depression, tremor, headache, paresthesia, flaccid paralysis, seizures

EENT: transient myopia, tinnitus, hearing dysfunction, sensation of lump in throat

GI: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, melena, abdominal distention, dry mouth, anorexia

GU: dysuria, hematuria, glycosuria, polyuria, crystalluria, renal colic, renal calculi, uremia, sulfonamide-like renal lesions, renal failure

Hematologic: thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, agranulocytosis, hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenic purpura, pancytopenia, bone marrow depression with aplastic anemia

Hepatic: hepatic insufficiency

Metabolic: hypokalemia, hyperglycemia and glycosuria, hyperuricemia and gout, metabolic acidosis, hyperchloremic acidosis

Respiratory: hyperpnea

Skin: rash, pruritus, urticaria, photosensitivity, hirsutism, cyanosis

Other: altered taste and smell, weight loss, fever, excessive thirst, pain at I.M. injection site, hypersensitivity reaction, Stevens-Johnson syndrome


Drug-drug. Amphetamines, procainamide, quinidine, tricyclic antidepressants: decreased excretion and enhanced or prolonged effect of these drugs, leading to toxicity

Amphotericin B, corticosteroids, corticotrophin, other diuretics: increased risk of hypokalemia

Lithium, phenobarbital, salicylates: increased excretion of these drugs, possibly reducing their efficacy

Methenamine compounds: inactivation of these drugs

Phenytoin, primidone: severe osteomalacia

Salicylates: increased risk of salicylate toxicity

Drug-diagnostic tests. Ammonia, bilirubin, calcium, chloride, glucose, uric acid: increased levels

Thyroid iodine uptake: decreased in patients with hyperthyroidism or normal thyroid function

Urinary protein (with some reagents): false-positive result

Drug-behaviors. Sun exposure: increased risk of photosensitivity

Patient monitoring

Evaluate for signs and symptoms of sulfonamide sensitivity; drug can cause fatal hypersensitivity.

Monitor laboratory test results for hematologic changes; blood glucose, potassium, bicarbonate, and chloride levels; and liver and kidney function changes.

• Observe for signs and symptoms of bleeding tendency.

• Monitor fluid intake and output.

Patient teaching

• Advise patient to take drug with food if GI upset occurs.

• Caution patient to avoid driving and other hazardous activities until he knows how drug affects concentration and alertness.

• Tell patient to eat potassium-rich foods (such as seafood, bananas, and oranges) if taking drug long term or receiving other potassium-depleting drugs.

• Advise patient to avoid activities that can cause injury. Advise him to use soft toothbrush and electric razor to avoid gum and skin injury.

• Tell patient to report significant numbness or tingling.

• Inform patient that he'll undergo regular blood testing during therapy.

• As appropriate, review all other significant and life-threatening adverse reactions and interactions, especially those related to the drugs, tests, and behaviors mentioned above.

McGraw-Hill Nurse's Drug Handbook, 7th Ed. Copyright © 2013 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved


A trademark for the drug acetazolamide.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


A heterocyclic sulphonamide used to manage respiratory acidosis by inhibiting renal carbonic anhydrase, which increases renal excretion of Na+, K+, and bicarbonate, and reduces ammonia excretion. Acetazolamide is also used to reduce fluid retention in congestive heart failure, control secondary glaucoma and preoperatively in acute angle-closure glaucoma, and may be of use in seizures, especially absence seizures.
Effect Reduced serum pH; increased urine pH
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.


Acetazolamide, see there.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


A brand name for acetazolamide, a drug used in the treatment of GLAUCOMA and sometimes in the treatment of EPILEPSY and periodic paralysis.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Do you know whether Microhydrin is effective in treating mountain sickness and can you give me any recommendations regarding Diamox? I would love to run at higher altitudes without the miserable side effects.
It has meant Davids has not been able to use Diamox for fear of failing a drugs test.
Davids eventually received the go-ahead to use the eyewash, Diamox, which contains the IOC-blacklisted diuretic
It feels okay, except for a tingle inspired by Diamox, the diuretic that helps prevent altitude sickness by draining fluid from the lungs.
[7] Medications such as acetazolamide (Diamox) may hasten acclimatisation, but still require a suitably slow ascent profile to have a protective effect.
The patient was kept on broad spectrum antibiotics and tablet Diamox for 15 days, not showing any improvement, patient was taken up for re-exploration via end-aural approach, cavity was well epithelialized.
They are available in both topical therapy as dorzolamide (Trusopt) or brinzolamide (Azopt) and in tablet form as acetazolamide (Diamox) and methazolamide (Neptazane).
Talk to your doctor about medications such as acetazolamide (Diamox) that can lessen the time it takes your body to acclimatize to the high altitude.
She was on Diamox, a diuretic, to treat edema in the retina.
If the anterior chamber completely fills with blood this is called a 'black ball' and requires admission, diamox 250 mg qid, timolol and referral for drainage.
Another known preventive and treatment for AMS, according to the International Society for Mountain Medicine (IMMS), is Acetazolamide (Diamox), which helps reduce the effects of hyperventilation that people encounter when making extreme ascents.