Acetazolamide is used as a diuretic to treat the edematous condition due to heart failure, with particular positive effects in improving pulmonary edema and related dyspnea.It exerts its action in the proximal convoluted tubule of the nephrons, inhibiting an enzyme – expressed precisely by these cells – known as carbon dioxide. This inhibitory action indirectly prevents the reabsorption of bicarbonate and sodium.
What is Acetazolamidide used for?
It is used as a diuretic to treat the edematous condition due to heart failure , with particular positive effects in the improvement of pulmonary edema and related dyspnea.
It is also used in the treatment of epilepsy – especially in younger patients with less aggressive forms – of altitude sickness and glaucoma (in the latter case it reduces intraocular pressure, which is one of the causes that trigger this pathology.
How is Acetazolamide taken?
It is commercially available in the form of tablets or capsules , to be taken orally.
Side effects of Acetazolamide
Its administration can generally involve drowsiness and confusion, alter the patient’s normal perceptual and / or reactive qualities, as well as reduce the ability to drive and use machines.
The treatment based on Acetazolamide – especially if prolonged over time or incorrectly dosed – can generate an alteration of the electrolyte and acid-base balance, leading to hypoxemia , hypokalaemia and metabolic acidosis .
The utmost care is recommended in the administration of this active ingredient to subjects with diabetes, with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and with emphysema, since a probable acidosis could determine the onset of tachypnea, somnolence and, in severe cases, coma.
Contraindications and warnings of Acetazolamide
Experimental data regarding the use of the drug in pregnancy suggest not to use it during the first trimester and to take it in the following two quarters only in special and urgent cases.
Since Acetazolamide is secreted to a small extent in breast milk, breast-feeding should be discontinued if therapy with this active substance is in progress.