Before taking acetazolamide, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: adrenal gland problems (e.g., Addison's disease), low blood levels of sodium or potassium, severe kidney disease, severe liver disease (e.g., cirrhosis), certain metabolic problems (e.g., hyperchloremic acidosis).
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: breathing problems (e.g., emphysema, chronic bronchitis), high levels of calcium, dehydration, diabetes mellitus, gout, narrow-angle glaucoma, overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).
While this medication can help you get used to high altitudes and help you tolerate quick climbs, it cannot completely prevent serious altitude sickness. Symptoms of serious altitude sickness may include: severe shortness of breath, mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion, difficulty concentrating), lack of coordination/staggering walk, extreme tiredness, severe headache.
If you develop any of these symptoms, it is very important that you descend to a lower altitude as quickly as possible to prevent serious, possibly fatal problems.
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or cause blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
To minimize dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a seated or lying position.
This drug may infrequently make your blood sugar levels rise, causing or worsening diabetes. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst or tiredness.
If you already have diabetes, be sure to check your blood sugar levels regularly. This medication may also cause your blood sugar levels to fall. Symptoms of low blood sugar include fast/pounding heartbeat, shakiness, hunger and sweating. It is a good habit to carry glucose tablets or gel to treat low blood sugar. If you are in a situation where you don't have these reliable forms of glucose, eat a quick source of sugar such as table sugar, honey, or candy, or drink a glass of orange juice or non-diet soda to quickly raise your blood sugar level. Tell your doctor immediately about the reaction.
This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths and sunlamps. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors.
This medication should not be used in children less than 12 because it may affect normal growth.
This medication should be used with caution in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to its side effects, especially low potassium or sodium levels.
This medication should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
This medication passes into breast milk but is unlikely to harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Dizziness, lightheadedness, and an increased amount of urine may occur, especially during the first few days as your body adjusts to the medication. Blurred vision, dry mouth, drowsiness, loss of appetite, stomach upset, headache and tiredness may also occur. If any of these symptoms persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these very unlikely but serious side effects occur: increased body hair, hearing loss, ringing in the ears, unusual tiredness, persistent nausea/vomiting, severe stomach/abdominal pain.
Seek immediate medical attention if any of these unlikely but very serious side effects occur: easy bleeding/bruising, fast/irregular heartbeat, signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat), mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion, difficulty concentrating), severe muscle cramps/pain, tingling of the hands/feet, blood in the urine, dark urine, painful urination, yellowing of the eyes/skin.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: blisters/sores in the mouth, rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
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Information expires June 2015.