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Altitude & Diamox

Thu, 09/10/2009 - 20:45

Hi there, what do people think about the merits of taking Diamox when walking at altitude? We are going to Kilimanjaro, and we have heard that some people take Diamox to counteract the effects of altitude sickness (oedema). Anyone had any experience of any side effects?

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Fri, 09/11/2009 - 08:32


 Did Kili at the end of August. 5 out of 9 took diamox at some point, one person taking it from day 2.  The side effects all of us got was the tingling in findgers, toes and, for some, face. However, its strange rather than painful. Those of us that took it as needed found that it worked immediately, banishing the headaches and nausea for those that experienced that. It definitely was a iracle cure for us and we were all then able to make the summit.

We saw a group at the hotel where 7 out of 8 summited and they all swore by it too (not sure why the 8th person didn't make it!). I'd have it with you.....I tried it before I went but got no symptoms but got tingling on Kili. You've paid that much, its worth if needed!

The guides have it with them in case anybody needs it. Hope this helps. Have a good trip!

Fri, 09/11/2009 - 12:21

Cheers, very helpful!

Fri, 09/11/2009 - 12:31

Having guided over 40 ascents of 'Kili' I have seen many people reach the summit of Africa both with and without Diamox. The debate will always continue to rage with those who swear by it and those who don't; if you do choose to take it I would recommend discussing this with your GP or medical professional prior to departure to ensure that you are aware of the correct dosage and potential side affects, as well as carrying out independent research on sites such as the BMC (British Mountaineering Council).

Our guides on 'Kili' do carry Diamox, along with other specific medication for high altitude illnesses, however it should be noted that these are for emergency purposes only.

JIm Eite | Head of Product

Thu, 09/17/2009 - 21:05

As an alternative, you could always consider taking gingko bilobo(apologies if spelt incorrectly), which has no side effects. I travelled to Tibet 3 years ago & took this 1 week before travel & everyday I was there, & had no problems at all with  the altitude there.

Sun, 10/18/2009 - 19:22

I took Diamox for the first time on my last trip to Everest Base Camp in April and had to return early due to an adverse side effect - severe blurred vision. What was annoying was I tried a tablet a couple of weeks before I went out and was fine - but it can go that way according to the Doctor I saw in Kathmandu. Best advice is to take a course of Diamox at home before you go, rather than just the single tablet I took.

On a side note I'm heading back to Everest Base Camp next weekend - without the Diamox this time! 

Sun, 10/18/2009 - 19:23

Whoops! Just noticed you departed on 12 October - hope everything went ok!

Tue, 12/22/2009 - 20:24


Wed, 12/23/2009 - 16:09

You can get Gingko capsules at Holland & Barrett or any online health/vitamin suppliers. 2 x 120mg per day is the recommended dosage for AMS, but we always take one aspirin per day as well. We have always used this combination, never Diamox, and have never failed to get to the tops. A Google search will give you lots of info too.

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