Diamox (Acetazolamide) Medication


Diamox (Acetazolamide)

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Table of contents:

Drug Description


Diamox is a prescription medicine utilized for the management of various medical conditions. It is usually used as an adjunctive treatment for: 

  • Edema due to congestive heart failure, drug-induced edema 
  • Centrencephalic epilepsies (petit mal, unlocalized seizures) 
  • Chronic simple (open-angle) glaucoma, secondary glaucoma, and preoperatively in acute angle-closure glaucoma where delay of surgery is desired to lower intraocular pressure 

Diamox is also used to prevent and reduce the symptoms associated with acute mountain sickness in climbers attempting rapid ascent and those susceptible to acute mountain sickness despite gradual ascent. 

Classified as a diuretic and carbonic anhydrase inhibitor, Diamox inhibits the breakdown of carbonic acid, resulting in its accumulation. Inhibiting the activity of this protein can aid in reducing the build-up of particular fluids within the body.  

Use and Dosage 

Before starting treatment with Diamox and every time you get a refill, thoroughly review its patient information leaflet and medication guide. Any queries or uncertainties should be discussed with a healthcare provider for appropriate guidance. 

The dosage and length of Diamox intake vary per individual based on their medical condition and response to the treatment. 

Typically, Diamox is taken 1 to 4 times a day as prescribed by the doctor. It may be ingested with or without food, but it is recommended to consume ample fluids concomitantly. 

Adhere closely to the directives provided by your physician, especially when taken as a complete treatment program that includes other medications. Do not take more or less than what is prescribed, and refrain from exceeding the frequency specified by the physician. 

Side Effects 

Potential adverse reactions associated with Diamox are listed below. If any of them lasts or worsens, inform your physician or pharmacist promptly. 

Common Side Effects 

  • Gastrointestinal symptoms: 
    • Nausea 
    • Vomiting 
    • Loss of appetite 
    • Diarrhea 
  • Sensations of numbness or tingling, particularly in the extremities 
  • Drowsiness or confusion 
  • Auditory disturbances such as hearing problems or tinnitus 
  • Heightened urinary output 
  • Altered sense of taste 

Serious Side Effects 

  • Hematuria or rectal bleeding 
  • Seizures or convulsions 
  • Loss of mobility in any region of the body 
  • Signs of hematologic disorder 
    • Sudden malaise or weakness: 
    • Fever 
    • Chills 
    • Sore throat 
    • Mouth ulcers 
    • Pale skin 
    • Fatigue or breathlessness 
    • Rapid heartbeat 
    • Nosebleeds 
    • Bleeding gums 
  • Signs of hepatic complications:  
    • Nausea 
    • Swelling or tenderness in the upper abdomen 
    • Tired feeling 
    • Loss of appetite 
    • Dark urine 
    • Clay-colored stools 
    • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes) 
  • Signs of metabolic acidosis:  
    • Disorientation 
    • Vomiting 
    • Lack of energy 
    • Irregular heartbeats 
  • Signs of a kidney stone:  
    • Pain in the flank or lower back 
    • Blood in urine 
    • Painful or difficult urination 
  • Severe dermatologic reaction: 
    • Fever 
    • Sore Throat 
    • Facial or lingual edema 
    • Ocular burning 
    • Cutaneous discomfort followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially on the face or upper body) and results in blistering and exfoliation 

Allergic Reactions 

Instances of severe allergic reactions to Diamox are infrequent: however, promptly seek medical attention if any indications of such a reaction manifest, such as:  

  • Rash 
  • Inflammation or itchiness (particularly in the facial or throat area) 
  • Acute dizziness 
  • Breathing difficulties 

These adverse effects are not an exhaustive compilation of the potential side effects linked to Diamox. If you experience any unmentioned side effects, consult your physician. 


Before taking Diamox, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any known allergies, especially to acetazolamide, sulfa drugs, diuretics (‘water pills’), or any other drugs.  

The inactive ingredients of this medicine may also cause allergic reactions or other problems. Consult your pharmacist for more details. 

Apprise your doctor or pharmacist of your medical history before initiating treatment with Diamox, with a particular emphasis on the following conditions: 

  • Adrenal gland issues (such as Addison’s disease) 
  • Untreated mineral imbalance (such as low sodium/potassium, hyperchloremic acidosis) 
  • Dehydration 
  • Kidney disease 
  • Liver disease 
  • Breathing difficulties (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, or lung infection) 
  • Diabetes 
  • Gout 
  • Narrow-angle glaucoma 
  • Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) 

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription/nonprescription drugs, vitamins, and herbal products, to avoid drug interactions.  

Some products that can interact with Diamox include: 

  • Lithium 
  • Memantine 
  • Methenamine 
  • Orlistat 
  • Certain drugs for seizures (topiramate, zonisamide) 

Certain products may contain ingredients that have the potential to exacerbate swelling. Be mindful of telling your doctor if you are taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen and ask how to use them safely. 

Aspirin or aspirin-like drugs (salicylates) may lead to severe side effects if taken in significant amounts along with Diamox. However, continue intake if your physician has advised you to consume low-dose aspirin as a preventive measure against heart attacks or strokes (usually 81-162 milligrams per day). 

Diamox may induce drowsiness. Refraining from driving a vehicle or operating machinery is recommended until you understand how this drug affects your body. 

Diamox may render your skin more susceptible to the harmful effects of sunlight. Avoid prolonged or unnecessary exposure to sunlight and wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen when going out. 

Diamox can lower blood potassium levels. Your doctor may suggest consuming potassium-rich foods (like bananas or orange juice) or taking a potassium supplement while on this medication. Consult your doctor for additional information. 

Taking Diamox may help individuals get used to high altitudes and help them tolerate quick climbs; however, it cannot completely prevent severe altitude sickness. 

If you develop any symptoms of severe altitude sickness listed below, descend to a lower altitude as quickly as possible to prevent serious, possibly fatal problems. 

  • Severe shortness of breath 
  • Mental/mood changes (such as confusion, difficulty concentrating) 
  • Lack of coordination/staggering walk 
  • Extreme tiredness 
  • Severe headache 

The usage of Diamox during pregnancy should only be considered if the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks to the fetus, as there are currently no adequate and well-controlled studies conducted on pregnant women. 

Acetazolamide can be passed on to breast milk, but the possibility of causing harm to a nursing infant is unlikely. Seek counsel from your physician before nursing while taking this medication. 

Additional information

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Quality Prescription Drugs has provided information from third parties intended to increase awareness and does not contain all the information about Diamox (Acetazolamide). Talk to your doctor or a qualified medical practitioner for medical attention, advice, or if you have any concerns about Diamox (Acetazolamide).