Care Quality Commission ( regulated Online Doctor Service

Altitude Sickness

Diamox (Acetazolamide) tablets available

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Altitude Sickness Treatment

How can Anytime Doctor help me?

We provide this regulated, specialist service for patients who wish to obtain medicine to avoid and overcome altitude sickness. This treatment service is for trekkers and climbers who are climbing above 2,500 metres (8,000 feet).

The height you climb to is often not as important as the speed at which you ascended to that altitude. Acute mountain sickness (AMS) is more common in fit younger men because they are more likely to attempt a rapid ascent. The way to reduce the risk is to acclimatise and be prepared to descend.

All services provided by Anytime Doctor are safe, fast and confidential (we do not inform your GP). You can obtain treatment within the privacy of your home and without the inconvenience of lengthy doctor waiting rooms.

How does the Anytime Doctor service work?

Step 1:             Register online and complete the free online medical questionnaire consultation. A doctor will review your questionnaire and, if it is safe to do so, approve you for treatment. You do not pay for your doctor consultation.
Step 2: If you are approved for treatment you will be sent a text message asking you to log back into your secure patient record. You can pay for your altitude sickness treatment using a debit or credit card.
Step 3: Order before 4pm Monday to Friday and our partner UK Pharmacy will aim to dispense and despatch your medicine in that day's post using Royal Mail Special Delivery for delivery before 1pm the next working day. Your medicine can be delivered to your work or home address, someone needs to sign for the delivery but it does not have to be you.

Why are no prices shown for Anytime Doctor treatment services?

At Anytime Doctor, we aim to offer you similar pattern of healthcare as if you were to visit your normal GP for a face to face consultation. We believe it is important that you complete a medical consultation and receive a diagnosis by a licensed doctor before you are offered treatment options. Once a doctor has approved you for treatment all prices are clearly displayed. Your registration and medical consultation is free and you are under no obligation to purchase any treatment after your consultation.

How does this altitude sickness treatment work?

Your doctor can prescribe you Dimaox which increases the amount of urine produced and changes the acidity of the blood. This results in improved breathing and reduces fluid around the brain and in the lungs.

How to take your altitude sickness treatment

For the treatment of mild early acute mountain sickness (headache, fatigue, light headedness, difficulty with sleep), you should take one Diamox 250mg tablet twice daily until symptoms resolve, when planned ascent can be resumed. Where rapid ascent without proper acclimatisation cannot be avoided, one Diamox 250mg tablet twice daily can be taken. This should be continued for 2-3 days after the final altitude is reached.

For disturbed breathing pattern during sleep, take half a tablet of Diamox 25omg twice daily. You should continue until descent to an altitude where sleep is no longer a problem. Note: Acetazolamide is not a sedative.

What are the potential side-effects (contraindications) of this altitude sickness treatment?

All medication can cause side effects. Your altitude sickness treatment can cause a 'tingling' feeling in the fingers and toes, some loss of appetite, taste disturbance, flushing, thirst, headache, dizziness, fatigue, irritability, and depression. The leaflet accompanying the treatment will list some of the rarer side-effects.

When answering your medical questionnaire for altitude sickness treatment it is very important that you answer the questions truthfully to ensure your doctor has a full picture of your medical history before they prescribe you treatment.

How effective is this altitude sickness treatment?

Currently within the UK, Diamox is not licensed for the treatment of altitude sickness. However, clinical evidence shows that Diamox can help with the symptoms of altitude sickness. The best and only cure for mountain sickness is either acclimatisation or descent.

Altitude sickness treatment - unlicensed medication:

You should be aware that under the NHS, diamox treatment for altitude sickness is an unlicensed medication. Only if your doctor thinks it is safe to do so they will prescribe diamox - your doctor will send you full information details if they prescribe diamox to you.

Who should not use this particular altitude sickness treatment service?

You should not request this treatment service if you are allergic to drugs known as carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, sulfonamides or thiazide diuretics.

This service is not suitable for women who are trying to become pregnant, or people with severe allergies or auto-immune diseases.

Alternate treatment options:

Acclimatise and be prepared to descend.

Looking after your altitude sickness treatment:

This treatment is for YOU only. Do not give it to others. It may not suit them. Do not take this medicine after the expiry date stamped on the pack. Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.

Where can you find out more information?

Anytime Doctor's Health Library provides a comprehensive resource on all services offered through Anytime Doctor. The Health Library also contains references and links to reputable organisations such as: NHS Direct (UK), FDA (US Food and Drug Administration), NetDoctor (UK), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (USA), Department of Health (UK) and the Health Protection Agency (UK).

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