Medication Profile - Methazolamide Used Off-Label for Migraine

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There's a wide variety of medications used for Migraine, most of which are prescribed off-label. If methazolamide (Neptazane) has been prescribed for you, or if you and your doctor have been considering it,   here's some information that should be helpful.

Type of medication:

Methazolamide, brand names Glauctabs, MZM or Neptazane, is a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor that is prescribed off-label for  Migraine and headache prevention.   Methazolamide can be used to treat idiopathic intracranial hypertension, also referred to as pseudotumor cerebri.   It can also be used to treat glaucoma, altitude sickness and essential tremor.

Precautions:

  • Because methazolamide is a sulfa-based medication, be sure to let your doctor know if you are allergic to these types of medications. The following drugs include sulfamethoxazole: Bactrim, Gantanol, and Septra.
  • You may  not be a candidate to take methazolamide  or need to have your dose adjusted if you are on aspirin therapy or have any of the following conditions: heart disease, hormonal disease, liver disease, lung disease or kidney disease.
  • Due to drowsiness or dizziness, care must be used when taking methazolamide, especially when driving, doing hazardous things or operating machinery.
  • Do not stay in the sun for long periods of time, as this medication can raise the body's sensitivity to the sun. Always wear sunscreen and/or protective cloths when outside.
  • To get the best benefit from taking methazolamide, it must be taken on a regular basis.
  • Take the appropriate dosage with an entire glass of water. If you seem to suffer from an upset stomach when you take methazolamide, you may want to eat some food when taking the drug.
  • Use methazolamide exactly how your doctor prescribed it to you. Make sure you fully understand the directions before you start this medication.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding:

  • FDA Pregnancy Category C: This generally means there are no sufficient studies done on pregnant women, nor have any animal studies been conducted. However, in the case of methozolamide, animal studies have shown that it can produce fetal abnormalities.
  • There are no adequate studies in women to determine what the infant risk is when using methazolamide while breastfeeding, nor do we know if it can be passed through the breast to a child.
  • Do not use methazolamide without discussing it with your doctor before becoming pregnant.
  • The makers of methazolamide strongly encourage women to make an informed choice whether continue taking methazolamide or breast feed.

Be sure to let your doctor know of other medical problems you may have, especially:

  • cirrhosis
  • COPD
  • diabetes
  • glaucoma
  • gout
  • kidney and/or live problems
  • low blood sodium
  • low potassium
  • lung problems
  • metabolic and/or hyperchloeremic acidosis

Other medications:

As always, be sure to let your doctor know of ALL medications you are taking, especially:

  • aspirin
  • choline salicylatemagnesium salicylate
  • cyclosporine (Samdimmune)
  • diflunisal (Dolobid)
  • lithium
  • primidone (Mysoline)

Potential side effects:

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following serious side effects occur:

  • bruising or bleeding out of the ordinary
  • difficulty breathing
  • facial swelling
  • hives
  • if your throat feels like it is closing
  • swelling of the tongue
  • changes in the way things taste
  • lowered appetite
  • fever
  • pain in the side or groin
  • rash
  • sore throat
  • tremor in hands or feet or tingling

Common side effects can include:

  • confusion
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • drowsiness and/or dizziness
  • gout that gets worse
  • headache
  • hearing problems
  • higher sensitivity to sun
  • issues with your blood sugar
  • nausea
  • tinnitus
  • vision changes
  • vomiting

Brand names:

  • U.S.: Glauctabs, MZM, Neptazane

Related Information:* ** Migraine preventive medications - too many options to give up**


Resources:

Wolters Kluwer. Methazolamide. Drugs.com. Last revised April, 29, 2012.

Cerner Multum, Inc.  Methazolamide. Epocrates.com. Last revised December 15, 2010.

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© The HealthCentral Network, 2012
Last Updated June 4, 2012.