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What does it do?

Acetazolamide is used to reduce eye pressure in glaucoma. It is also used in the treatment and prevention of altitude sickness.

How should you take it?

Take acetazolamide regularly as directed with a glass of water.

What if you forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as possible. If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and carry on as normal. Do not take two doses at the same time.

Can you take other medicines?

Some medicines available without a prescription may react with acetazolamide including:

  • aspirin (e.g. Disprin®, in doses used for pain relief)

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Sore throat, feeling unwell

Fever, skin rash, itching, tiredness

Easy/unusual bruising or bleeding

Tingling or numbness

Tell your doctor immediately

Ringing in the ears, dizziness, headache

Peeing more often

Flushing, muscle weakness

Confusion, drowsiness, low mood

Diarrhoea, change of appetite, changes in taste

Nausea, vomiting

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have heart, kidney or liver problems, or diabetes.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Peeing more often is an expected effect with acetazolamide.
  • Acetazolamide may make you dizzy or sleepy and make it dangerous to drive, operate machinery or do other activities that require you to be alert. Limit alcohol intake because it can increase these effects.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the PILs Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand. February 2018

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at the Canterbury District Health Board. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed