/ Altitude Sickness medication?

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MikeTS - on 01 May 2013
I'll be at 4 to 5000 metres for two weeks. I took Diamox twice before on similar altitude trips before, but went without one other time. It's hard to know whether it helped. Also, I saw a recommendation for Iboprufen instead. (And Viagra, but I think I'll skip that)

What do you think?
imkevinmc - on 01 May 2013
In reply to MikeTS: Viagra every time
Scomuir on 01 May 2013
In reply to MikeTS:
I think you should make some attempt to acclimatise properly rather than relying on medication, particularly any that go some way to masking the effects of altitude sickness.
beth_may - on 01 May 2013
In reply to MikeTS:

I would be interested to read the source recommending ibuprofen if you have it?

dunc56 - on 01 May 2013
In reply to MikeTS: If it worked for Top Gear ....
MikeTS - on 01 May 2013
In reply to beth_may:
> (In reply to MikeTS)
>
> I would be interested to read the source recommending ibuprofen if you have it?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altitude_sickness

at the end it says

'Two recent studies showed that Ibuprofen 600 milligrams three times daily was effective at preventing AMS. But it was not clear if this affected HAPE or HACE'

with two refs from 2012
MikeTS - on 01 May 2013
In reply to imkevinmc:
> (In reply to MikeTS) Viagra every time

don't fancy llamas



Andy Nisbet - on 01 May 2013
In reply to MikeTS:

What is your acclimatisation schedule. If it's quicker than ideal, then Diamox may well help. If it's a steady acclimatisation, then Diamox won't be an advantage and could possibly be the opposite.
Fredt on 01 May 2013
In reply to MikeTS:

The key is to acclimatise properly without artificial aids. Walk in starting from around 1000 metres, and very slowly ascending only 1000 metres each day, and I mean slowly, even if its only a couple of miles, take all day and drink plenty.
On the third day you will be at 4000 metres fully acclimatised, but don't go higher on the fourth day.

This was the advice of a guide I hired, who kept having to stop me walking/climbing too fast, insisting frequent sit downs for deep meaningful conversations and a drink. We then slept each night at around 4,500 metres, and climbed to over 5000 metres each day, and I never had the slightest problem.

His advice was "Don't hit altitude, or it will hit you back. You have to sneak up on it so it doesn't notice."
Don'tTellHim Pike - on 01 May 2013
In reply to Scomuir:
> (In reply to MikeTS)
> I think you should make some attempt to acclimatise properly rather than relying on medication, particularly any that go some way to masking the effects of altitude sickness.

My understanding is that Diamox does not "mask" AMS, rather that "if you feel better(after taking Diamox)you are better"

MikeTS - on 01 May 2013
In reply to Andy Nisbet:
> (In reply to MikeTS)
>
> What is your acclimatisation schedule.

flying in to 3000m. Then 3 days of acclimisation, hiking up but sleeping at this height.
Andy Nisbet - on 01 May 2013
In reply to MikeTS:
>
> flying in to 3000m. Then 3 days of acclimisation, hiking up but sleeping at this height.

OK, it's higher than ideal for flying in, so you could justify Diamox. The possible snag with Diamox is that you will feel fine initially but it may slow acclimatisation. Of course if you keep taking it, this may not matter. There's no easy answer. I flew in to 3400m last year and took Diamox, felt fine but later regretted it as the others who didn't take it, acclimatised faster than me. My personal thought is that if you don't need it, don't take it, but keep it as a back-up if things don't go well. This is what I'm going to do this year. I'm not a medic and everyone reacts differently.

Howard J - on 01 May 2013
In reply to MikeTS: My own experience was that I tried to acclimatise naturally. i did fairly well up to about 5000m - sometimes a slight headache at the end of the day, for which I took paracetomol, but I felt fine the next day. At our camp at 5100m I slept very badly and felt terrible. I took Diamox and then felt OK (well, OK for 5100m)

I'd definitely use it again, but only after trying to acclimatise naturally.
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dorangus - on 02 May 2013
In reply to MikeTS: Include these from before going and during the whole trip :

WATER (be FULLY rehydrated)
VIT C (take more than usual in supplements and fresh fruit)

painkillers help when you start to suffer (you will)
Diamox and any other local remedies may be good for initial height gain from flight.

take the walking slow and steady and if at all possible acclimatise correctly.

I have been at high altitude numerous times, numerous places. Suffered badly and still managed through. Most times it was not possible for me to acclimatise properly.

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