Effects of a chemical synthesis based pharmaceutical wastewater on performance of an anaerobic completely stirred tank reactor (CSTR), activity of acetoclastic methanogens and microbial composition were evaluated under various influent compositions. Initially, the CSTR was fed with glucose up to an organic loading rate (OLR) of 6 kg COD/m(3) (.) d corresponding to an F/M ratio of 0.43 with a hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 2.5 days. A COD removal efficiency of 92% and a methane yield of 0.32 m(3) CH4/kg CODremoved were achieved whilst specific methanogenic activity (SMA) was found to be 336 mL CH4/gTVS (.) d. After the CSTR was fed with pre-aerated wastewater diluted by glucose in different dilution ratios of 10% (w/v), 30% (w/v), 70% (w/v), and 100% (w/v) pre-aerated wastewater, gradual decreases in COD removal efficiency to 71%, methane yield to 0.28 m(3) CH4/kg CODremoved and SMA to 166 mL CH4/gTVS (.) d occurred whilst volatile fatty acid concentration reached to 1474 mg/L. After the raw wastewater diluted with the pre-aerated wastewater was fed into the CSTR in increasing ratios of 10% (w/v), 30% (w/v), and 60% (w/v), there was a proportional deterioration in performance in terms of COD removal efficiency, methane yield and acetoclastic methanogenic activity. Epifluorescence microscopy of the seed sludge revealed that Methanococcus-like species, short, and medium rods were found to be equally dominant. The short and medium rod species remained equally dominant groups in the CSTR throughout the feeding regime whilst Methanococcus-like species and long rods were found to be in insignificant numbers at the end of the study. Changes in archael diversity were determined using molecular analyses such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and denaturent gradient gel clectrophoresis (DGGE). Results showed that overall archeal diversity did not change much whereas changes in composition of eubacterial population occurred.