High Altitude Medication (Diamox) or Alternative Treatment
Replies: 6 - Last Post: May 20, 2010 3:31 AM Last Post By: vistet
Feb 4, 2008 7:25 PM
High Altitude Medication (Diamox) or Alternative TreatmentHello from the Rocky Mountains,
I love high altitude hiking in our Rockies and during my world travel. However, I always get severe migraines up there, on the 14ners pretty much instantly. I plan a trip to the Andes n Peru. I heard from the health department for international travel that Diamox is prescribed for high altitude sickness, but it certainly has side effects. Has anyone tried this? Is there something besides medications you have tried and helps you? I already suffer from frequent migraines anyway, but I really want to prevent them in high altitudes 12000 feet and higher. Do you know about other medication?
Edited by: 14ner
Feb 5, 2008 10:08 AM
Mar 31, 2009 4:37 AM
2I just returned from Cusco and the Andes. I am allergic to sufla-based drugs and prefer a natural approach anyway.
My friends on diamox experienced metallic tastes in their mouths and tingling of their extremities.
My naturopath suggested this combination and it worked perfectly. Here it is:
1) CHLOR-OXYGEN - min 2 drops in water 2x/day
2) CoQ10 - 100mg 2x/day
3) GINKO BILOBA - 2caps 2x/day
Drink plenty of water and start these about 5 days before your trip. I also drank coca tea morning and night and that helped a lot as well.
I had more trouble with the local ecoli bacteria, so its a good idea to have some cippromax on you for that just in case. You can get it there.
May 26, 2009 8:32 PM
3I am allergic to sulfa too so it is nice to hear of some alternative to Diamox. We are going from Miami to Quito, where we will be for a couple of days. Then we go to the Galalpagos for 4 days before going to LIma, Cuzco, & Machu Picchu. I don't know if it is better to go from a high altitude to sea level, then back to a high altitude, or just stay at a high altitude to become acclimated.
Where do you get chlor-oxygen and do you know of anyone else who has use this with the CoQ10, and Ginko Biloba?
May 30, 2009 2:46 AM
4I don't know if it is better to go from a high altitude to sea level, then back to a high altitude, or just stay at a high altitude to become acclimated.
Starting acclimatization is all about nights over 2000 , four nights in Quito is a good way of preparing for Cuzco. Ideally you should go from Quito to Cuzco , but with only a few nights at sea level you´ll have remaining effects. It rapidly wanes after the first week.
Gingko has been tried in several large studies , and failed :
Ginkgo initially appeared to be a promising new drug for the prevention of altitude illness, but much more data has now been accumulated in multiple well-designed studies, and there is no demonstrable benefit to taking Ginkgo. Ginkgo is no better than placebo for prevention of AMS, and Ginkgo plus acetazolamide (Diamox) is no better than acetazolamide alone.
There is still some research done on gingko , and you have one altitude medicine specialist , Peter Hackett , saying he believes it may have some , but lower effect than diamox. The explanation for the bad results in the large studies could be explained with the uncertanties in how big effective dose you get in these preparations - an uncertainty everyone buying non-standardised preparations will share.
Either way , preventive medication in any form is overkill for for most of your trip : Macchu Picchu is cabin pressure , and Quito a few hundred meters higher.
May 19, 2010 11:28 PM
5My and my partner climbed Kilimanjaro (5896m) in March 2010 without Diamox. It has way too many side effects, no guarantees you will not get an altitude sickness, and it may even mask its symptoms when you actually are sick and need urgent evacuation. What kind of pill is it?!!
We decided that we will get altitude sickness, it’s because our bodies can not take any more. We must respect this.
This made us a centre of discussions between guides – none of them could even remember a non-Tanzanian who did a climb without a Diamox. None of guides was taking peels. Apparently they thought a white person is too week to climb without a medication. It may be naive, but it is really just a reflection on our society.
In the end we both did not really get sick, just a usual slight headache, heavy breezing and hart beet - nothing that people taking Diamox did not experienced. But everyone else also got tingling limbs, nausea, stomach problems, slight disorientation. Of 12 people only two of us and another couple got to the summit. Everyone else was taking a Diamox and dropped of because of altitude or Diamox side effects. So here you go!
On guides advised we drank lots of water all the time. If you think you can feet more water in you – drink it (as this is how they climb). Guess we also ere much more focused to tune our bodies to the altitude then the rest, because we did not expected any magic to happen with the pill.
I’d say we were much better off without Diamox then the rest!
May 20, 2010 3:31 AM
6lots of water all the time..
..it may even mask its symptoms when you actually are sick and need urgent evacuation. What kind of pill is it?!!
It is a pill that - when it works - stimulates breathing by lowering blood pH , the same mechanism as in normal acclimatization. Feeling better comes from breathing better , no masking involved. There are other medications ( steroids ) that may mask symptoms . Different story.
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