Acetazolamide is a reversible inhibitor of the carbonic anhydrase enzyme that results in reduction of hydrogen ion secretion at the renal tubule and an increased renal excretion of sodium, potassium, bicarbonate, and water. It can be used as a diuretic or to treat glaucoma as it prevents excessive build up of aqueous humor. It also inhibits carbonic anhydrase in the central nervous system to minimize abnormal and excessive discharge from CNS neurons. Acetazolamide can be administered to patients with a metabolic alkalosis to promote retention of hydrogen ions at the level of the renal tubule.
In some literature articles, the term mechanism of action and mode of action (MoA) are used interchangeably; typically referring to the way in which the drug interacts and produces a medical effect. However, in actuality, a mode of action describes functional or anatomical changes, at the cellular level, resulting from the exposure of a living organism to a substance.  This differs from a mechanism of action, as it is a more specific term that focuses on the interaction between the drug itself and an enzyme or receptor and its particular form of interaction, whether through inhibition , activation , agonism , or antagonism . Furthermore, the term mechanism of action is the main term that is primarily used in pharmacology, whereas mode of action will more often appear in the field of microbiology or certain aspects of biology.