What Are the Different Acetazolamide Side Effects?

S. Berger
S. Berger

The medication acetazolamide can be used as a treatment for medical conditions as varied as altitude sickness, glaucoma, and seizures. As with many other drugs, this substance can cause adverse effects, even at therapeutic doses, in some individuals. Acetazolamide side effects can have different levels of severity, but generally, more serious side effects are also more rare.

Some of the more common acetazolamide side effects usually occur when an individual first begins using the drug, because after just a few days of treatment, people often become tolerant to it. These more frequent adverse effects include urinating frequently, dizziness, and lightheaded sensations. Diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting may also occur during this period of time. At times, individuals may experience less frequent acetazolamide side effects; these effects are more unusual, but are not generally harmful when a medical opinion is sought after they are noticed. Changes in the perception of taste, especially with regard to sodas and other carbonated drinks, can occur, as can numb or tingling feelings, particularly in the extremities like the feet and hands, known as parasthesias. Blurred vision and tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, are also among these rarer events.

Certain acetazolamide side effects can be much more serious, and people usually consult a doctor if they arise. Yellow coloration in the eyes, bruising, or bleeding, as well as bloody stools, can all signal an extremely adverse reaction to the drug. Nausea, vomiting, or other abdominal effects that do not go away over time may also indicate a larger medical problem. Many compounds can sometimes cause allergies for certain individuals, and acetazolamide side effects can sometimes be due to an allergic reaction, potentially requiring medical treatment. Individuals that have trouble breathing or swallowing, or develop hives, rashes, or facial swelling may be allergic to this medication.

Usually, the acetazolamide side effects that can occur do not mean that a serious medical problem has occurred. For this reason, even mild side effects that persist for some time are not generally a cause for concern. In the event that they interfere with an individual's daily routine, however, people may sometimes opt to contact a doctor. They may be advised to lower their dosage of this drug, or even to switch to another treatment, as these decisions may allow for the reduction or elimination of adverse effects. Usually, individuals do not change their dosage without consulting a professional first, so as to avoid other effects that could possibly occur after doing so.

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