Acetazolamide is an anticonvulsant, carbonic anhydrase inhibitor, and diuretic agent. As a potent carbonic anhydrase inhibitor, it is effective in the control of fluid secretion, in the treatment of certain convulsive disorders and in the promotion of urine production in instances of abnormal fluid retention.3

Acetazolamide is sometimes effective against absence seizures. It is sometimes useful also as an adjunct in the treatment of tonic-clonic, myoclonic, and atonic seizures, particularly in women whose seizures occur or are exacerbated at specific times in the menstrual cycle. However, its usefulness is transient often because of rapid development of tolerance. Its antiepileptic effect may be due to its inhibitory effect on brain carbonic anhydrase.1

In veterinary medicine acetazolamide is used to manage acute glaucoma in dogs and cats. Acetazolamide is sometimes used, like other carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, to produce more alkaline urine for management of urinary stones. It is rarely used as diuretic any longer. There are more potent and effective diuretic drugs avilable such as furosemide.2

  • Absence seizure - a childhood seizure disorder characterized by rhythmic electrical brain discharges of generalized onset. Clinical features include a sudden cessation of ongoing activity usually without loss of postural tone. Rhythmic blinking of the eyelids or lip smacking frequently accompanies the seizures. The usual duration is 5-10 seconds, and multiple episodes may occur daily. Juvenile absence epilepsy is characterized by the juvenile onset of absence seizures and an increased incidence of myoclonus and tonic-clonic seizures.4


  1. PubChem Compound Database
  2. Saunders handbook of veterinary drugs. Mark G. Papich
  3. DrugBank
  4. Menkes, Textbook of Child Neurology, 5th ed, p736