Pediatric Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension Medication

Updated: Nov 07, 2022
  • Author: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: George I Jallo, MD  more...
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Medication Summary

Medications used in the treatment of idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) include acetazolamide and corticosteroids.


Diuretics, Other

Class Summary

Carbonic anhydrase (CA) is an enzyme found in many tissues of the body, including the eye. CA inhibitors catalyze a reversible reaction in which carbon dioxide becomes hydrated and CA dehydrated.

Acetazolamide (Diamox sequels)

Acetazolamide is a first-line drug for treatment of IIH.



Class Summary

Corticosteroids agents have anti-inflammatory properties and cause profound and varied metabolic effects. They modify the body’s immune response to diverse stimuli.


If acetazolamide fails to relieve symptoms of IIH, corticosteroids may be tried. Experience with prednisone in the treatment of pediatric IIH has shown that short-term use (ie, ≤ 1 month) is safe and effective.

Prednisolone (Pediapred, Millipred, Orapred)

Prednisolone decreases inflammation by suppressing the production of leukotrienes and migration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and by reducing capillary permeability. Experience has shown that short-term corticosteroid use (ie, ≤1 month) is safe and effective.