Acetazolamide is the most suitable drug alone or in combination with furosemide for treatment of hydrocephaly, Acetazolamide (ACZ) and furosemide (FUR) treat posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus in neonates. Both are diuretics that also appear to decrease secretion of CSF at the level of the choroid plexus. ACZ can be used alone or in conjunction with FUR. The combination enhances efficacy of ACZ in decreasing CSF secretion by the choroid plexus. If ACZ is used alone, it appears to lower risk of nephrocalcinosis significantly.
Acetazolamide, sold under the trade name Diamox among others, is a medication used to treat glaucoma, epilepsy, altitude sickness, periodic paralysis, idiopathic intracranial hypertension (raised brain pressure of unclear cause), and heart failure.
Furosemide is a loop diuretic (water pill) that prevents your body from absorbing too much salt. This allows the salt to instead be passed in your urine.
Furosemide is used to treat fluid retention (edema) in people with congestive heart failure, liver disease, or a kidney disorder such as nephrotic syndrome.
Furosemide is also used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension).
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Medication as treatment for hydrocephalus is controversial. It should be used only as a temporary measure for posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus in neonates, or when shunting is not possible.
Hydrocephalus is a chronic condition. It can be controlled, but usually not cured. With appropriate early treatment, however, many people with hydrocephalus lead normal lives with few limitations. Hydrocephalus can occur at any age, but is most common in infants and adults age 60 and older. There is currently no known way to prevent or cure hydrocephalus and the only treatment option today requires brain surgery. With early detection and appropriate intervention of hydrocephalus, the future for many is promising. Without treatment, hydrocephalus results in compromised mental functioning, visual disturbances, walking difficulty, incontinence, and reduced conscious state.
The mortality rate for hydrocephalus and associated therapy ranges from 0 to 3%. This rate is highly dependent on the duration of follow-up care. The shunt event-free survival is approximately 70% at 12 months and is nearly half that at 10 years, post-operatively.
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