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Diamox Side Effects

Generic name: acetazolamide

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 15, 2023.

Note: This document contains side effect information about acetazolamide. Some dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Diamox.

Applies to acetazolamide: intravenous powder for solution, oral capsule extended release, oral tablet.

Serious side effects of Diamox

Along with its needed effects, acetazolamide (the active ingredient contained in Diamox) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking acetazolamide:

Incidence not known

  • Black, tarry stools
  • blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • blood in the urine
  • bloody nose
  • change in consciousness
  • chest pain or tightness
  • chills
  • clay-colored stools
  • confusion
  • cough or hoarseness
  • dark urine
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty swallowing
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • fever
  • frequent urination
  • headache
  • heavier menstrual periods
  • hives, itching, skin rash
  • increased volume of pale, dilute urine
  • itching
  • joint or muscle pain
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of consciousness
  • lower back or side pain
  • muscle tremors
  • nausea
  • no muscle tone or movement
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the face, lips, or tongue
  • rash
  • red irritated eyes
  • red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • restlessness
  • seizures
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
  • stomach pain or cramps
  • sudden decrease in amount of urine
  • sugar in the urine
  • swollen or painful glands
  • trouble breathing
  • unpleasant breath odor
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual drowsiness, dullness, tiredness, weakness, or feeling of sluggishness
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting of blood
  • weight loss
  • yellow eyes or skin

Other side effects of Diamox

Some side effects of acetazolamide may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Incidence not known

  • Burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  • changes in vision
  • continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears
  • hearing loss
  • increased sensitivity of skin to sunlight
  • redness or other discoloration of the skin
  • severe sunburn

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to acetazolamide: compounding powder, injectable powder for injection, intravenous powder for injection, oral capsule extended release, oral tablet.


Adverse reactions occurring early in therapy have included paresthesias, tinnitus, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and drowsiness.[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Anaphylactic/anaphylactoid reactions including shock and fatalities[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Blood dyscrasias such as aplastic anemia, agranulocytosis, leucopenia, thrombocytopenia, and thrombocytopenia purpura[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Loss of appetite, electrolyte disturbances, metabolic acidosis and hypokalemia with long term therapy, hyponatremia osteomalacia with long-term therapy, hyper/hypoglycemia[Ref]


Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Photosensitivity

Frequency not reported: Skin reactions, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, urticaria, rash including erythema multiforme[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, melena[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Abnormal liver function, cholestatic jaundice, fulminant hepatic necrosis, hepatitis[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Paresthesias (up to 20%)

Frequency not reported: Drowsiness, headache, dizziness, taste alteration, ataxia, flaccid paralysis, convulsions, sensory disturbances[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Confusion, irritability, depression, excitement, reduced libido[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Transient myopia[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Renal colic, increased risk of nephrolithiasis, renal failure[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Polyuria, polydipsia, crystalluria, renal calculi, hematuria, glycosuria[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Growth retardation in children[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Flushing, malaise, thirst, fatigue, fever, hearing disturbances[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Injection site pain[Ref]


1. Cerner Multum, Inc. UK Summary of Product Characteristics.

2. Product Information. Acetazolamide (acetazolamide). Sterimax Inc.

3. Product Information. AcetaZOLAMIDE (acetaZOLAMIDE). Taro Pharmaceuticals U.S.A. Inc. 2022.

4. Product Information. Diamox Sequels (acetaZOLAMIDE). Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc. 2022.

5. Cerner Multum, Inc. Australian Product Information.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.