Diamox is a treatment for altitude sickness which contains the active ingredient acetazolamide. It's not licensed for this use, although a doctor can prescribe it off-label to prevent altitude sickness if they feel that it is safe for you to do so. It has been used by many people to successfully combat altitude sickness, but never as an alternative to following the correct acclimitisation methods and so, should only be kept handy as a precautionary measure if you are planning to ascend high altitudes.
Acetazolamide, the active ingredient in Diamox is a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor as well as a diuretic. This treatment aims to influence blood acidity levels. By doing this it can reduce the risk of symptoms such as headaches.
In addition to influencing blood-acidity levels, it also produces bicarbonate, which gives it its diuretic effect, thereby ensuring that the water levels in blood remain at a healthy level. Both these actions don't just help to reduce the mild discomforts associated with this condition but can also reduce the risk of a patient developing more serious complications.
Although generally safe to use, this can't be taken safely by everybody. People who should not use Diamox are those who are allergic or sensitive to the ingredient acetazolamide or any of the other ingredients contained in this medication. It's also unsuitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women to use, those with low blood potassium or sodium levels, patients with liver or kidney conditions or who have been diagnosed with Addison's disease, suffer from gout or have lung problems.
When completing your online consultation with 121doc, you should make sure that you provide us all the health information that is asked, as this will provide our doctor with the suitable data to make the best recommendation for you. Our doctor will also want to be sure that you'll be using this treatment safely and not as an alternative to traditional acclimatisation measures.
This medicine is available in a 125mg or a 250mg dose. The tablets should be swallowed whole, with a glass of water alongside a meal. The dosage that will be prescribed to you will depend on your individual needs and current health, although the traditional recommendation will be up to a maximum of four tablets a day. As it is a preventative treatment, you'll likely have to start taking your acetazolamide tablets a couple of days before you start ascending.
It is essential that you follow traditional methods for avoiding altitude sickness and that you don't change your dose without speaking to your doctor first.
All prescription medications have a minor risk of side effects, but it doesn't mean that they will appear in everyone who uses this treatment. Side effects that have been reported are nausea, vomiting, dizziness or rash, but luckily these are mild and shouldn't be lasting. You should, however, be aware that one of the rare side effects of this treatment is an allergic reaction, for which you will need to seek immediate medical help.
You can prepare for your climb by ordering Diamox safely from 121doc. Here we ask all our patients to complete a completely free and confidential consultation form, as this will allow our licensed doctor to provide a prescription based on your individual needs. This means that our doctor may choose not to provide you with a prescription if this is a safer option. If a prescription is issued, it will be sent straight to our pharmacy, where a registered pharmacist will dispense it. It will then be packaged and dispatched via secure courier service for next day delivery. All orders include a free consultation and there is no additional charge for delivery. If you live in London you are eligible for same day delivery and may receive your order in as little as two hours.
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