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August 1977

Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitor Side Effects: Serum Chemical Analysis

Author Affiliations

From the Glaucoma Consultation Service and Howe Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1977;95(8):1378-1382. doi:10.1001/archopht.1977.04450080088009

• Multiple serum chemical values were examined in 92 patients with chronic glaucoma who were treated with the carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (CAIs) acetazolamide or methazolamide, seeking relationships between serum composition and symptomatic side effects. Of the 92 patients, 44 complained of a symptomcomplex of malaise, fatigue, weight loss, depression, anorexia, and loss of libido, which we have found most commonly to threaten continuation of therapy. Patients who had this symptom complex were significantly more acidotic than those without it. Ten of 24 patients who had chemical evidence of excessive acidosis reported a dramatic alleviation of symptoms when sodium bicarbonate was administered, although their serum CO2-combining power changed little. There was no correlation of the symptom complex with serum potassium concentration, except in a few patients who were simultaneously receiving chlorothiazide diuretics for systemic hypertension and who became frankly hypokalemic.

(Arch Ophthalmol 95:1378-1382, 1977)