Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.
Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Acetazolamide is a strong carbonic anhydrase inhibitor. Carbonic anhydrase
is an enzyme found within the
red blood cells and helps to regulate the acidity
and fluid balance in various organs throughout the body. Carbonic anhydrase
catalyzes a reversible reaction that converts carbon dioxide and water into
carbonic acid, which can then breakdown into protons and bicarbonate ions.
In the kidneys and the eyes, carbonic anhydrase promotes the reaction that
produces bicarbonate ions and acid to regulate the amount of fluid within these
organs. When the delicate balance of this reaction is disturbed, medical
problems such as glaucoma and excess fluid retention (edema) may occur.
Beneficial effects observed in the treatment of glaucoma include decreases in
the secretion of aqueous humor in the eye and intraocular pressure.
When used as
a diuretic (water-pill) in patients who have abnormal fluid retention (for
example, heart failure), acetazolamide works in the kidney to promote a
reversible reaction that results in the loss of bicarbonate, which carries with
it sodium, water, and potassium. In-addition to causing diuresis (water loss),
the urine becomes more alkaline or basic (pH increases). Alkalization of the
urine causes an increase in the reabsorption of ammonia by the renal tubules.
Acetazolamide is also used to treat and prevent symptoms of acute mountain
sickness (AMS) such as
shortness of breath,
fatigue. Compared to placebo, 250 mg acetazolamide every 8-12
hours or 500 mg controlled-release capsule once daily was effective in
preventing symptoms of acute mountain sickness before and during rapid ascent to altitude. Compared
to placebo, acetazolamide treated patients experienced fewer and/or less severe
symptoms, had better lung function, and experienced less difficulty in sleeping.
Acetazolamide is also used with other medications to treat certain forms of