Diamox — Drug Information: Indications, Side Effects, Warnings

What is Diamox? This medication is also known as diacarb and acetazolamide, and the latter is its active component. Diamox mechanism of action is similar with any other diuretics which belong to a group of carbonic anhydrasa inhibitors, therefore acetazolamide Diamox possesses diuretic, and antiseizure features, and also can be used to treat glaucoma. This particular diuretic drug has quite mild diuretic effect. Diamox pharmacology consists of carbonic anhydrase inhibition inside proximal convulated tubule of nephrone, increasing excretion of sodium, potassium ions with urine flow, has no effect towards excretion of chlor-ions, stimulation of increase of pH of urine, increase of ammonium re-absorbtion. One of possible side effects of acetazolamide diamox include metabolic acidosis if the diuretic has been taken for a long time or too often.

Patients and physicians must remember that that suppression carbonic anhydrase activity in the brain will lead to suppression of extreme paroxysmal neuronal discharge and antiepileptic activity. As well Diamox uses include decreasing of intramacular pressure, and suppression of carbonic anhydrase leads to lesser secretion of watery liquid. Diamox prescription is needed to treat high intracranial blood pressure due to the drug’s ability to suppress carbonic anhydrase in the brain chambers and to reduce secretion of cerebral fluid.

Even though patients can buy acetazolamide diamox over the counter still it is very recommended to get a full prescription from the doctor to be sure that Diamox dose is correct and suitable.

Diamox pharmacokinetics

It was proven that Diamox tablets active ingredient acetazolamide can be very well absorbed from digestive tract. After taking two Diamox 250 mg tablets (500 mg), Cmax of its active ingredient is 12-27 mkg/ml and can be reached in one-three hours. Detected concentration of acetazolomide in plasma lasts 24 hours after taking dose, mainly it is distributed among erythrocytes, kidneys, muscular tissue, eye tissues and central nervous system. Diamox generics active component has very high rate of fusion with plasma proteins, it can go through placenta and presents in a breast milk in a very small amount. Almost 90% of taken Diamox dosage is excreted with urine flow within 24 hours, the diuretic duration is up to twelve hours.

Indications for the Diamox medicine

  • Mild and moderate edema syndrome combined with alcalosis in presence of chronic cardiac and cardiac-pulmonary failure as a part of complex therapy;
  • Glaucoma (primal, secondary, chtonic open-angle, acute closed-angle) as preoperative treatment which is needed to reduce intramacular blood pressure;
  • Secondary glaucoma;
  • Epileptic seizures in children, mixed forms as a part of complex therapy;
  • Intracranial hypertension;
  • High altitude disease (for acute mountain sickness Diamox can reduce the duration of acclimatization, but its action towards symptoms of disease is not significant).

How to take Diamox?

The only way to take Diamox is peroral. For that you need to get Diamox tablets over the counter or by prescription.

Edema syndrom: in the beginning phase of treatment initial Diamox dosage is 250-375 mg per day which is equivalent to 1-1.5 tabs, preferably should be taken in the morning.

Maximum diuretic effect can be reached if Diamox drug is taken every second day or two days in a row with one-day break. While taking diamox acetazolamide it is always strongly recommended to continue therapy of blood circulating failure, including use of cardiac glicosides, diet with sodium restriction and rich in potassium.

Open-angle glaucoma: adults can take Diamox 250 mg which is equivalent to one pill one to four times a day. Provided, dosage above 1 g do not enforce therapeutic effect.

Secondary glaucoma: adults can take Diamox 250 mg every four hours. Sometimes the therapeutic effect can be observed after short-term use of Diamox capsules 250 g two times a day.

Acute glaucoma episode: one pill (250 mg) four times a day, but sometimes Diamox 500 mg (250 mg two times a day for a short period) is required. For the children Diamox glaucoma treatment consists of following dosage: 10-15 mg/kg of weight in a day three-four times.

Epilepsy: adult patients can take 250-500 mg Diamox (one-two pills) per day at once during three days, fourth day should be a break. Diamox dosage for children at the age of four-twelve months should be 50 mg a day (one-two times), for two-three years — 50-125 mg a day (one-two times), for 4-18 years — 125-250 mg per day at once. It is needed to be taken into account that combining generic Diamox with other antiepileptic medications the initial dose of Diamox for epilepsy treatment should start from 250 mg per day at once, later the dose can be corrected if there is a need. Caution: Diamox dose for the kids must not exceed 750 mg per day.

High altitude disease: Diamox dosage for altitude sickness prevention may vary greatly, as a preventive measure one can take 500-1000 mg a day 24-48 hours before climbing the mountain, in case of fast climbing the dose should be exactly 1000 mg a day at once. In presence of developed symptoms Diamox dosing for altitude sickness should be continued within another 48 hours, and sometimes even longer if there is a need. If the patient missed taking the Diamox medication, he should not increase the next dose.

Diamox overdose has following symptoms: increasing levels of common and specific Diamox side effects. The only available treatment for the overdose is to start symptomatic therapy.

According to the Diamox manufacturer, the main contradictions are acute renal failure, liver failure, obvious impairment of liver functioning, cirrhosis due to the risk of encephalopathy, hyponatriemia, hypokalaemia, hypochloraemia, acidosis, adrenal insufficiency, hypocorticism, Addison’s disease, uremia, kidney stones in presence of hypercalciuria, diabetes, chronic decompensated closed-angle glaucoma for the long-term therapy, first trimester of pregnancy, breastfeeding, hypersensitivity to any component of the Diamox.

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