Significant Metabolic Acidosis Induced by Acetazolamide: Not a Rare Complication

Israel Heller, Jonathan Halevy, Shimon Cohen, Emanuel Theodor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Blood gas and serum electrolyte levels were measured in 27 elderly patients (mean age ± SD, 63.3 ± 13.5 years) who were receiving acetazolamide (250 to 1,000 mg/day) for glaucoma. Eleven glaucomatous patients (mean age, 69.1 ± 7.4 years) who were not receiving acetazolamide served as a control group. In the acetazolamide-treated group, four patients (14.8%) had mild acidosis (7.29>pH≤7.31), ten (37%) had moderate acidosis (7.20>pH≤7.29), and one patient (3.7%) had severe acidosis (pH, 7.15). None of the patients in the control group had acidosis. It is concluded that moderate metabolic acidosis of potential clinical significance is common among glaucomatous elderly patients who receive acetazolamide. The exact clinical significance of our observations is yet to be determined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1815-1817
Number of pages3
JournalArchives of Internal Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1985


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