Diamox or generic Acetazolamide is classed as a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor oral medication and is primarily prescribed to treat glaucoma that can occur if the ocular pressure in your eye remains high. Many people are unaware they have ocular hypertension until vision loss occurs, which is why it is important to have regular ophthalmic exams to keep ahead of any threat to your sight.
Meds cannot repair any damage that has already occurred to your sight or cure glaucoma, but Diamox will slow down its progression. Diamox may also be prescribed to alleviate excess fluid retention caused by heart failure, pre-menstrual syndrome or other medications.
Diamox blocks the carbonic anhydrase enzymes and works as a diuretic to rid your body of extra fluid, including the fluid produced in your eyes so any excess pressure does not cause harm to your vision. The carbonic anhydrase enzymes are located in a part of the kidneys and allow the resorption of chloride, sodium, and bicarbonate. Taking Diamox will inhibit these enzymes which results in the excretion of bicarbonate, sodium, and chloride, as well as any excess fluid. This helps to lower blood pressure, intracranial pressure, and intraocular pressure.
The fluid in the front part of your eyes is called aqueous humor. There is usually an even give-and-take with fluid (aqueous humor) being pumped into your eyes while being drained out through channels called trabecular meshwork. If something slows down the manner in which the fluid drains from your eyes, pressure builds up and your vision can become damaged. Diamox reduces the amount of aqueous fluid that is produced so the drainage can keep up with the flow.
Make certain your doctor is aware of other medical conditions and allergies you have so it can be determined if Diamox is the right medication for you. Provide a list of all non-prescription medications and Rx drugs you are taking and include homeopathic remedies and dietary or vitamin supplements. The active or inactive ingredients of Diamox may become altered or cause unintended side effects if taken together with some meds.
You should not take Diamox if you have cirrhosis, severe liver or kidney disease, an electrolyte imbalance, or adrenal gland failure. Consult a doctor before taking Diamox if you are pregnant or may become pregnant to be sure it is safe. Acetazolamide can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby so you will have to change to formula feeding.