Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors for hypercapnic ventilatory failure in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Short-term clinical trial data suggest that acetazolamide has a small beneficial effect on arterial PCO2 and PO2. There is no evidence of other clinical benefits. The drug appears to be well tolerated, with few side-effects over two weeks in a dose of 250 mg twice daily, so may be considered in patients with chronic hypercapnic ventilatory failure.