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- Reduces symptoms of altitude sickness
- Eases headache, nausea and dizziness
- Useful if you can't make a slow ascent
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What is Acetazolamide?
Acetazolamide is used for the prevention and reduction of the symptoms of altitude sickness. Acetazolamide can decrease a headache, nausea, dizziness, tiredness, and shortness of breath that may occur when you climb quickly to altitudes above 10,000 feet. The use of this medicine is particularly useful in situations when making a slow ascent is not possible. You can prevent altitude sickness by climbing slowly, stopping for 24 hours during the climb to allow your body to adjust to the new height, and taking it easy the first one or two days.
This medication is used also with other medications to treat open-angle glaucoma, an eye problem.
Acetazolamide is a diuretic that decreases the amount of fluid that can build up in the eye. It also decreases the buildup of body fluids caused by congestive heart failure or some medications.
Acetazolamide belongs to the group of drugs known as carbonic anhydrase inhibitors.
How does Acetazolamide work?
Acetazolamide is a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor. It works by preventing the enzyme carbonic anhydrase from functioning normally, which has different effects in different parts of the body.
What are the benefits of using Acetazolamide?
The main benefit of Acetazolamide is the prevention and reduction of the symptoms of altitude sickness. It is effective in decreasing headache, nausea, dizziness, tiredness, and shortness of breath that may occur when you climb quickly to altitudes above 10,000 feet.
How do I use Acetazolamide?
Take Acetazolamide as instructed by your doctor. Take this medication, whether tablet or capsule, by mouth. The tablet should be taken usually 1 to 4 times daily or as directed by your doctor. The long-acting capsules should be taken once or twice daily, or as directed by your doctor. The long-acting capsules must be swallowed whole, without opening, breaking, or chewing them because doing so will destroy the long action of the medicine and may increase the side effects.
This medicine may be taken with or without a meal. Drink plenty of fluids when you take this medication unless your doctor will advise you otherwise. Your dosage of Acetazolamide is based on your medical condition and your response to the treatment.
You can prevent altitude sickness by taking this medication 1 to 2 days before you start to climb. Continue taking the medication while climbing and for another 48 hours after reaching the final altitude. It may be necessary that you continue taking this medication while you stay at a high altitude to help control your symptoms. If you develop altitude sickness, it is necessary that you climb down as fast as possible. This medication does not provide protection from severe altitude sickness.
If you are taking Acetazolamide for another condition, use the medication regularly according to the instructions of your doctor. It is recommended that you take your last dose of the medication in the early evening to prevent getting up in the middle of the night to urinate.
You should take the dose of this medicine as prescribed by your doctor. Do not alter the dose without first consulting your doctor. If you have to stop taking this medication, you may need to gradually decrease the dose as sudden stoppage of use may worsen some conditions.
Acetazolamide may reduce the levels of potassium in your blood. Your doctor may ask you to eat foods rich in potassium or take a potassium supplement during the treatment.
Acetazolamide is available in extended-release capsules that contain 500 mg of the drug, and regular-release tablets of 125 mg, 250 mg, and 500 mg.
The extended-release capsule should be taken once or twice daily.
The regular-release tablet should be taken 1 to 4 times daily, as directed by your doctor.
The maximum dose of this medication is 1 gram or 1,000 mg per day.
Side effects & precautions
Acetazolamide, as with other medications, may have some unwanted side effects although not every who uses it will experience them.
The common side effects of Acetazolamide include:
- Changes in taste or loss of appetite
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects become severe or won’t go away.
The serious side effects of Acetazolamide include:
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes
- Drowsiness or tiredness
- A headache
- Numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
- Blood in urine
- Sore throat
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Pelvic pain or painful urination
- Severe allergic reaction
Before using Acetazolamide, inform your doctor if you are allergic to the active and inactive ingredients of this medication, or other allergies that you may have.
There are some medical conditions that will prevent you from taking Acetazolamide. Tell your doctor if you have the following:
- Problems with the adrenal glands
- Severe kidney disease
- Low blood levels of sodium or potassium
- Severe liver disease
- Metabolic problems
Share with your doctor your medical history before you start using this medication, including breathing problems, narrow-angle glaucoma, high levels of calcium, diabetes mellitus, dehydration, and an overactive thyroid.
The use of this medication may result in you getting dizzy, drowsy, or blurred vision. Consuming alcohol and using marijuana may exacerbate the problems. You should limit your intake of alcoholic beverages and discuss with your doctor your use of marijuana.
There is a small chance that this medication may elevate your blood sugar, worsening your diabetes. Report to your doctor right away if you experience the symptoms of high blood sugar such as frequent urination and increased thirst.
Acetazolamide may more you more sensitive to the sun. You should limit your exposure to the sun while using this medication. Take all necessary steps to protect yourself when you are outdoors.
Acetazolamide should not be used in children less than 12 years of age because of the possibility that the medication may stunt their growth.
The elderly are more sensitive to the side effects of this medication, especially low potassium or sodium levels.
Acetazolamide is not recommended for use during pregnancy except when your doctor determines that using it is clearly necessary. You should discuss with your doctor the benefits and risk of taking this medication during pregnancy.
Although Acetazolamide passes into breast milk, it is not likely to cause harm to a nursing infant. It is still important that you discuss with your doctor and benefits and risks of using this medication while you are breastfeeding.
Drug interactions may alter the way Acetazolamide works or increase its side effects. You should share with your doctor a list of all medications that you are currently using to enable him to check for any unsafe combination.
How do I buy Acetazolamide online?
You can safely buy Acetazolamide online at UK Meds. You will first need to have an online consultation with a pharmacist independent prescriber before your order will be supplied. The online consultation will ensure that Acetazolamide is the right medication for your medical condition.