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May 1957

Use and Misuse of Acetazoleamide (Diamox) in the Treatment of Glaucoma

AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1957;57(5):639-643. doi:10.1001/archopht.1957.00930050651001

Since the discovery1,2 that the carbonicanhydrase-inhibiting drug acetazoleamide (Diamox) brings about a lowering of the intraocular pressure, its use has been widespread in the treatment of glaucoma. Its pressure-lowering effect is due solely to a lessening of the rate of aqueous production. The obstruction to outflow of aqueous is uninfluenced by acetazoleamide. Thus the use of this drug in the treatment of glaucoma must be regarded as a palliative treat ment, since it in no way affects the fundamental cause of increased intraocular pressure—obstruction to outflow. Such palliative treatment is often of tremendous value in preventing damage to vision while other measures are employed to relieve the fundamental difficulty—obstruction to outflow of aqueous. This principle is employed in other ophthalmological problems. Thus the use of steroids in certain inflammatory ocular conditions, while not affecting the fundamental disease process, may lessen the inflammatory manifestations and protect the eye from irreparable

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