What is the role of acetazolamide in the treatment of hypoventilation syndromes?

Updated: Dec 28, 2018
  • Author: Jazeela Fayyaz, DO; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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Answer

Acetazolamide is a diuretic that inhibits carbonic anhydrase, increases HCO3 excretion, and causes metabolic acidosis. The metabolic acidosis subsequently stimulates ventilation. However, this medication must be used with caution. If the patient's respiratory system cannot compensate for the metabolic acidosis it induces, the patient may suffer hyperkalemia and, potentially, a cardiac dysrhythmia.


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