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Acetazolamide (By mouth)

Treats glaucoma, epilepsy, mountain sickness, and edema (swelling).

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Brand names include
Diamox Sequels
Other forms
By injection
Drug classes About this
Anticonvulsant, Antiglaucoma, Cardiovascular Agent, Musculoskeletal Agent, Renal-Urologic Agent, Urinary Stone Agent

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

[Prevention of acute mountain sickness with acetazolamide]

Bibliographic details: Van Vessem ME, Kayser B, Stijnen T, Berendsen RR.  [Prevention of acute mountain sickness with acetazolamide]. [Preventie van acute hoogteziekte met acetazolamide.] Huisarts en Wetenschap 2013; 56(12): 610-615

Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors for hypercapnic ventilatory failure in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Some people with advanced chronic lung disease (COPD ‐ chronic bronchitis or emphysema) can experience breathing failure. This involves chemical changes which in turn can lower the drive to breathe. The drug acetazolamide is used for mountain sickness, and it can stimulate breathing in some circumstances. The review of trials found that a few days of using acetazolamide can improve the level of oxygen in the blood of people with COPD. It is not clear if this leads to better outcomes, so more research is needed. Not enough data were reported on the safety of the drug.

Treatment of acute cryptococcal meningitis in HIV infected adults, with an emphasis on resource‐limited settings

Despite the advent and increasingly wide availability of antiretroviral therapy for people with HIV/AIDS, cryptococcal meningitis remains a significant cause of death and illness amongst individuals with HIV infection in resource‐limited settings (poor countries). The ideal way to manage cryptococcal meningitis remains unclear. The main aim of this review was to determine the best treatment for cryptococcal meningitis in resource‐limited settings. In these settings, usually only Amphotericin and fluconazole are available. The authors didn't find any suitable studies that compared these two drugs. Because Flucytosine, which works well with Amphotericin, is often not available in poor countries, policy makers and government officials should consider using this drug for HIV treatment programmes. Future research into the management of cryptococcal meningitis in resource‐limited settings should focus on the most effective use of medications that are available in these settings.

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Summaries for consumers

Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors for hypercapnic ventilatory failure in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Some people with advanced chronic lung disease (COPD ‐ chronic bronchitis or emphysema) can experience breathing failure. This involves chemical changes which in turn can lower the drive to breathe. The drug acetazolamide is used for mountain sickness, and it can stimulate breathing in some circumstances. The review of trials found that a few days of using acetazolamide can improve the level of oxygen in the blood of people with COPD. It is not clear if this leads to better outcomes, so more research is needed. Not enough data were reported on the safety of the drug.

Treatment of acute cryptococcal meningitis in HIV infected adults, with an emphasis on resource‐limited settings

Despite the advent and increasingly wide availability of antiretroviral therapy for people with HIV/AIDS, cryptococcal meningitis remains a significant cause of death and illness amongst individuals with HIV infection in resource‐limited settings (poor countries). The ideal way to manage cryptococcal meningitis remains unclear. The main aim of this review was to determine the best treatment for cryptococcal meningitis in resource‐limited settings. In these settings, usually only Amphotericin and fluconazole are available. The authors didn't find any suitable studies that compared these two drugs. Because Flucytosine, which works well with Amphotericin, is often not available in poor countries, policy makers and government officials should consider using this drug for HIV treatment programmes. Future research into the management of cryptococcal meningitis in resource‐limited settings should focus on the most effective use of medications that are available in these settings.

Interventions for idiopathic intracranial hypertension

We attempted to find all of the published randomised controlled trials (RCT, a type of rigorous study that compares one treatment option against another) that investigated any treatment for idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) in any patient group. We looked at a number of outcomes including reduction in vision, improvement of headache and quality of life.

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