Acetazolamide is a prescription-only drug that is used to prevent and reduce symptoms of altitude sickness. It can also be used to decrease headaches, tiredness, nausea, shortness of breath, and dizziness when climbing quickly to high altitudes, usually above 10,000 feet/3,048 meters.
It’s especially helpful when you are in situations when you can’t make a slow ascent. Generally, the best way to prevent altitude sickness is to climb slowly and stop for 24 hours during the climb to allow the body to adjust to the new height, and once you reach your climbing destination take it easy for the first one or two days. But, if this is not possible, then you should consult your doctor or healthcare expert about using Acetazolamide when you go for longer climbs.
How does it work?
Acetazolamide can also be used along with other medications to treat certain eye problems like open-angle glaucoma. It is considered a “water pill”, or diuretic, and decreases the amount of fluids that can build up in the eyes. It may also be used to decrease a build-up of body fluids that are caused by conditions of congestive heart failure or certain medications. This medicine may also be prescribed with other medications to treat certain types of seizures like petit mal and un-localised seizures.
It is usually only used for a short period of time, as with prolonged use the drug becomes less effective. Acetazolamide is a prescription only drug and should only be used if it has been prescribed directly by your healthcare professional.