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September 1974

Acetazolamide and Potassium Flux in Red Blood Cells: Studies in Patients With Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis

Arch Neurol. 1974;31(3):187-191. doi:10.1001/archneur.1974.00490390069007

Rates of potassium influx in red blood cells of three patients with hyperkalemic periodic paralysis were studied during attack-free states and during induced attacks of weakness. Potassium influx rates were normal when the patients were free of attacks but decreased during attacks. Twenty-four-hour administration of acetazolamide decreased resting potassium influx rates and minimized any further decreases due to the attack-inducing procedures. The data suggest that acetazolamide administration alters potassium exchange rates between intracellular and extracellular compartments in such a way as to protect from sudden upward surges in plasma potassium levels.