Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content


Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:

Acetazolamide - What is it for

Acetazolamide is usually used to control seizures (fits) and other problems related to the nervous system. It can also be used to help with altitude sickness prevention and treatment, to get rid of water retention (edema) and to relieve increased pressure in the eye. 

Acetazolamide - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Acetazolamide cause?

Like all medicines, this medication may cause some possible side effects but not everyone experiences them. Consult your healthcare professional if any of the side effects lasts more than a few days or become severe and bothersome.
The common side effects of Acetazolamide include:
  • Dizziness
    • Get up slowly from sitting or lying down position
  • Drowsiness
    • Avoid driving or engaging in activities (such as cycling or swimming) that requires concentration
  • Diarrhoea
    • Drink more water to replace loss of fluids
  • Nausea, vomiting
    • Take the medication with or after food to reduce nausea and vomiting
    • Avoid food that is too rich, spicy or has strong smells
  • Headache
    • Take paracetamol if needed to relieve headache
  • Loss of appetite, abdominal pain, taste disturbance (bitter taste)
  • Increased sensitivity to sunlight
    • Put on some sunscreen or wear long sleeves or pants to protect the skin
  • Irritability, feeling nervous and excitable
  • Muscle weakness, poor muscle coordination or numbness in the hands and feet (“pins and needles” sensation)
If the following serious side effects happen, you should consult your healthcare professional immediately:
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash due to Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN)
    • SJS and TEN are rare and serious skin reactions. Symptoms include face swelling, blisters on skin, skin rashes that spread within hours to days. It usually occurs within the first few months (monitor closely for the first 3 months) of treatment. 
    • As SJS and TEN progress rapidly, please consult your healthcare professional if you show the first sign of a rash.
  • Persistent blurred vision and/or eye pain, change in eyesight
  • Difficulty or pain when passing urine or blood in urine
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes, or dark urine
  • Unusual bleeding or bruises
  • Prolonged fever, cough or mouth sores
  • Signs of too much acid in the blood: feeling confused, fast breathing, fast heartbeat, bad stomach pain, feeling very sleepy, shortness of breath or feeling very tired or weak

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:

  • Swollen face / eyes/ lips / tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

Before taking Acetazolamide , what precautions must I follow?

Inform your healthcare professional if you have the following medical conditions before starting on Acetazolamide:

  • Sulfonamide allergy
  • Drug allergies
  • Kidney problems 
    Liver problems
    History of kidney stones

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Acetazolamide ?

​Avoid drinking alcohol while taking this medication as it can cause excessive drowsiness and dizziness. 

Acetazolamide - Dosage and How to Use

How should Acetazolamide be used?

  • Follow the instructions on your medication label and take the medication as prescribed by your doctor.
  • You can take this medication with or after food.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only the usual dose. Do not double your dose or use extra medication to make up for the missed dose. 

What should I do if I overdose?

Acetazolamide - Handling

How should I handle Acetazolamide safely?

Acetazolamide - Storage

How should I store Acetazolamide ?

;#Keep away from children;#Keep in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight;#

How should I dispose of Acetazolamide safely?

​Pack this medication into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing it into the rubbish chute or bin.

Acetazolamide - Additional Information

  • Updated on 8/31/2021 12:00:00 AM
  • Article contributed by PSS National Medication Information Workgroup PSS National Medication Information Workgroup
The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

Find Your Medicines