NZ Formulary



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, and sometimes other conditions.

How should you take it?

Take acetazolamide regularly as directed with a glass of water.

What if you forget a dose?

If it is nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time. Otherwise, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. 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

Symptoms of allergy including: skin rash, itching, swelling, trouble breathing

Reduced number of blood cells that fight infections or help your blood to clot - symptoms include: fever, chills, sore throat or generally feeling unwell, or easy or unusual bruising or bleeding

Symptoms of liver problems including: yellow skin or eyes, itching, dark urine, pale bowel motions, abdominal pain

Tell your doctor immediately

Changes in heartbeat, muscle cramps or weakness

Tingling or numbness

Tell your doctor

Peeing more often


Confusion, low mood

Stomach upset, loss of appetite, changes in taste

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 kidney, liver or breathing problems, or diabetes.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • You may need blood tests while taking acetazolamide to check the amount of potassium in your blood.
  • Acetazolamide can impair your ability to do tasks such as driving or using machines. Alcohol makes this worse. Discuss your risk with your health professional. (search NZTA - Are you safe to drive?)