ACETAZOLAMIDE — acetazolamide capsule, extended release
Alembic Pharmaceuticals Limited
Acetazolamide extended-release capsules are an inhibitor of the enzyme carbonic anhydrase.
Acetazolamide is a white to faintly yellowish white crystalline, odorless powder, sparingly soluble in practically boiling water, very slightly soluble in water and slightly soluble in alcohol. The chemical name for acetazolamide is N-(5-Sulfamoyl-1,3,4-thiadiazol-2-yl)acetamide and has the following chemical structure:
MW 222.25 C4 H6 N403 S2
Acetazolamide are extended-release capsules, for oral administration, each containing 500 mg of acetazolamide and the following inactive ingredients:
Microcrystalline cellulose, sodium lauryl sulfate and talc.
The ingredients in the capsule shell are D&C Red No. 28, D&C Yellow No. 10, FD&C Red No. 40, gelatin and titanium dioxide.
The ingredients in the imprinting ink are shellac, propylene glycol, potassium hydroxide and iron oxide black.
Acetazolamide is a potent carbonic anhydrase inhibitor, effective in the control of fluid secretion (e.g., some types of glaucoma), in the treatment of certain convulsive disorders (e.g., epilepsy) and in the promotion of diuresis in instances of abnormal fluid retention (e.g., cardiac edema).
Acetazolamide is not a mercurial diuretic. Rather, it is a non-bacteriostatic sulfonamide possessing a chemical structure and pharmacological activity distinctly different from the bacteriostatic sulfonamides.
Acetazolamide is an enzyme inhibitor that acts specifically on carbonic anhydrase, the enzyme that catalyzes the reversible reaction involving the hydration of carbon dioxide and the dehydration of carbonic acid. In the eye, this inhibitory action of acetazolamide decreases the secretion of aqueous humor and results in a drop in intraocular pressure, a reaction considered desirable in cases of glaucoma and even in certain non-glaucomatous conditions. Evidence seems to indicate that acetazolamide has utility as an adjuvant in treatment of certain dysfunctions of the central nervous system (e.g., epilepsy). Inhibition of carbonic anhydrase in this area appears to retard abnormal, paroxysmal, excessive discharge from central nervous system neurons. The diuretic effect of acetazolamide is due to its action in the kidney on the reversible reaction involving hydration of carbon dioxide and dehydration of carbonic acid. The result is renal loss of HCO3 ion, which carries out sodium, water, and potassium. Alkalinization of the urine and promotion of diuresis are thus affected. Alteration in ammonia metabolism occurs due to increased reabsorption of ammonia by the renal tubules as a result of urinary alkalinization.
Acetazolamide extended-release capsules provide prolonged action to inhibit aqueous humor secretion for 18 to 24 hours after each dose, whereas tablets act for only eight to 12 hours. The prolonged continuous effect of pellets permits a reduction in dosage frequency.
Plasma concentrations of acetazolamide peak from three to six hours after administration of acetazolamide extended-release capsules, compared to one to four hours with tablets. Food does not affect bioavailability of acetazolamide extended-release capsules.
Placebo-controlled clinical trials have shown that prophylactic administration of acetazolamide at a dose of 250 mg every eight to 12 hours (or a 500 mg controlled-release capsule once daily) before and during rapid ascent to altitude results in fewer and/or less severe symptoms of acute mountain sickness (AMS) such as headache, nausea, shortness of breath, dizziness, drowsiness, and fatigue. Pulmonary function (e.g., minute ventilation, expired vital capacity, and peak flow) is greater in the acetazolamide treated group, both in subjects with AMS and asymptomatic subjects. The acetazolamide treated climbers also had less difficulty in sleeping.
For adjunctive treatment of: chronic simple (open-angle) glaucoma, secondary glaucoma, and preoperatively in acute angle-closure glaucoma where delay of surgery is desired in order to lower intraocular pressure. Acetazolamide extended-release capsules are also indicated for the prevention or amelioration of symptoms associated with acute mountain sickness despite gradual ascent.
Hypersensitivity to acetazolamide or any excipients in the formulation. Since acetazolamide is a sulfonamide derivative, cross sensitivity between acetazolamide, sulfonamides and other sulfonamide derivatives is possible.
Acetazolamide therapy is contraindicated in situations in which sodium and/or potassium blood serum levels are depressed, in cases of marked kidney and liver disease or dysfunction, in suprarenal gland failure, and in hyperchloremic acidosis. It is contraindicated in patients with cirrhosis because of the risk of development of hepatic encephalopathy.
Long-term administration of acetazolamide extended-release capsules are contraindicated in patients with chronic non-congestive angle-closure glaucoma since it may permit organic closure of the angle to occur while the worsening glaucoma is masked by lowered intraocular pressure.
Fatalities have occurred, although rarely, due to severe reactions to sulfonamides including Stevens- Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, fulminant hepatic necrosis, anaphylaxis, agranulocytosis, aplastic anemia, and other blood dyscrasias. Sensitizations may recur when a sulfonamide is readministered irrespective of the route of administration. If signs of hypersensitivity or other serious reactions occur, discontinue use of this drug.
Caution is advised for patients receiving concomitant high-dose aspirin and acetazolamide extended-release capsules, as anorexia, tachypnea, lethargy, metabolic acidosis, coma, and death have been reported.
Increasing the dose does not increase the diuresis and may increase the incidence of drowsiness and/or paresthesia. Increasing the dose often results in a decrease in diuresis. Under certain circumstances, however, very large doses have been given in conjunction with other diuretics in order to secure diuresis in complete refractory failure.
Adverse reactions common to all sulfonamide derivatives may occur: anaphylaxis, fever, rash (including erythema multiforme, Steven-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis), crystalluria, renal calculus, bone marrow depression, thrombocytopenic purpura, hemolytic anemia, leukopenia, pancytopenia, and agranulocytosis. Caution is advised for early detection of such reactions and the drug should be discontinued and appropriate therapy instituted.
In patients with pulmonary obstruction or emphysema where alveolar ventilation may be impaired, acetazolamide extended-release capsules which may precipitate or aggravate acidosis should be used with caution. Gradual ascent is desirable to try to avoid acute mountain sickness. If rapid ascent is undertaken and acetazolamide extended-release capsules is used, it should be noted that such use does not obviate the need for prompt descent if severe forms of high altitude sickness occur, i.e., high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) or high altitude cerebral edema.
Caution is advised for patients receiving concomitant high-dose aspirin and acetazolamide extended-release capsules, as anorexia, tachypnea, lethargy, metabolic acidosis, coma, and death have been reported (see WARNINGS).
Both increases and decreases in blood glucose have been described in patients treated with acetazolamide. This should be taken into consideration in patients with impaired glucose tolerance or diabetes mellitus.
Acetazolamide treatment may cause electrolyte imbalances, including hyponatremia and hypokalemia, as well as metabolic acidosis. Therefore, periodic monitoring of serum electrolytes is recommended. Particular caution is recommended in patients with conditions that are associated with, or predispose a patient to, electrolyte and acid/base imbalances, such as patients with impaired renal function (including elderly patients; see PRECAUTIONS, Geriatric Use), patients with diabetes mellitus, and patients with impaired alveolar ventilation.
Some adverse reactions to acetazolamide, such as drowsiness, fatigue, and myopia, may impair the ability to drive and operate machinery.
To monitor for hematologic reactions common to all sulfonamides, it is recommended that a baseline CBC and platelet count be obtained on patients prior to initiating acetazolamide extended-release capsules therapy and at regular intervals during therapy. If significant changes occur, early discontinuance and institution of appropriate therapy are important. Periodic monitoring of serum electrolytes is recommended.
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