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What is Altitude Sickness?
Altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), is a term used to describe the effect that being at high altitude has on the body. The effect it has on the central nervous system is a form of high altitude cerebral edema (HACE). It usually presents at altitudes above 2,400m (approximately 8,000 feet) and many climbers will experience mild symptoms above 3,000m (at nearly 10,000 feet). This can include headaches, dizziness and shortness of breath.
The height you climb to is often not as important as the speed at which you ascended to that altitude. AMS can be more common in fit younger individuals 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. You can obtain treatment within the privacy of your home and without the inconvenience of waiting for an appointment.Read more
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Medicines at a glance
Diamox 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.
It is used for the treatment of mild early acute mountain sickness (headache, fatigue, light headedness, difficulty with sleep) to resolve symptoms, before a planned ascent can be resumed. It can also be used where rapid ascent without proper acclimatisation cannot be avoided and should be continued for 2-3 days after the final altitude is reached.
Can also be used to ease disturbed breathing patterns during sleep and can be continued until descending to an altitude where sleep is no longer a problem.
Note: Acetazolamide is not a sedative
All medication can cause side effects. We have only listed a few to be aware of. Details of all side effects, including rare side effects to be aware of, are listed in the patient information leaflet (PIL). When completing your medical questionnaire, it is very important that you answer the questions truthfully. This is to ensure your doctor has a full picture of your medical history before prescribing. List all medicines you are already taking, including non-prescription and herbal medicines.
|Patient Information Leaflet|
Not suitable 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.
The only cure is acclimatisation or descent.
|Looking after your medicine||
Do not take medicines after the expiry date stamped on the pack. Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
Medicines are only intended to be used by the person they are prescribed for. Do not give your prescribed medicine to anybody else, even if they have the same symptoms as you. Medicines can be harmful if used by anybody other than the person they have been prescribed for.
How the service works
|Just 4 simple steps|
Complete a free online medical consultation. Your answers provide our doctors with the information they need to safely recommend the right treatment for you.
A doctor will review your consultation and, if it is safe to do so, approve you for treatment. Our doctors will suggest suitable treatment options, including dosage and treatment duration. Select your medicine and complete your order using our secure payment system.
All prescriptions are sent electronically to our UK based partner pharmacy, ready for dispatch. Our partner pharmacy is regulated by the General Pharmaceutical Council and only dispenses genuine branded medicines licensed for use in the UK.
Medicines require a signature upon delivery. Most orders are dispensed and dispatched for delivery the next working day. All orders are sent using discrete packaging with no mention of Anytime Doctor or the parcel content. Upgrade to same day delivery for orders within the M25.
All of our prices are fully inclusive. When buying your treatment online our price includes the cost of the consultation, the issuing of a private prescription, dispensing of the medicine itself, free delivery and doctor after-care. There are no hidden extras.
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 to ensure that the treatment option you are requesting is appropriate for your needs. Our GMC registered doctors are also able to suggest treatment options for you if you prefer. Once a doctor has approved you for treatment all prices are clearly displayed. Your medical consultation and registration is free and you are under no obligation to purchase any treatment after your consultation.
In order to manage some conditions online, we are required to inform your GP about the medicine you have been prescribed. This will be clearly highlighted during your consultation. We will not contact or share this information with your GP without your consent. You are required to provide consent each time you order, so you remain in full control of when we contact your GP on your behalf.
Your Anytime Doctor medical record is confidential and securely stored on our UK data servers. We will never share your details unless you expressly ask us to do so.
What are the symptoms of altitude sickness?
How effective is 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.
Is Diamox licensed for use in altitude sickness?
Please note that under the NHS, Diamox treatment for altitude sickness is an unlicensed medication. Your doctor will only prescribe Diamox if they think it is safe to do so and they will provide detailed instructions on how to take this medicine.
Last Reviewed 16/01/2020 Authored 05/09/2010
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