Diamox

Diamox

Joined: January 20th, 2004, 5:18 am

January 6th, 2007, 2:10 am #1

Anyone use it? Would you consider it cheating? As directed by a physician, of course.

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Joined: January 21st, 2004, 6:08 am

January 6th, 2007, 3:44 am #2

Worked well for me going from sea level to Wheeler's summit in less than 24 hours.

Next time around I woke up early, took it on an empty stomach, had some cheap Dunkin' Donuts "breakfast" and boarded an early morning flight to Phoenix - on which I almost passed out. Figured it had to be the Diamox and haven't gone back to it since. My doc thought that was a good idea (the staying away from it part).

Your results may vary, I'm not a doctor, yaddyadya.
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Joined: January 20th, 2004, 9:07 pm

January 6th, 2007, 9:33 am #3

I've read a couple of Denali reports that have me semi-convinced to use it for Denali (if ever), but i'd like to hear more experiences too.
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Joined: February 26th, 2004, 11:47 am

January 6th, 2007, 1:06 pm #4

Anyone use it? Would you consider it cheating? As directed by a physician, of course.
In the words of the immortal W.C. Fields, "A thing worth having is worth cheating for."

-hojo
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Joined: January 22nd, 2004, 5:48 am

January 6th, 2007, 6:40 pm #5

Anyone use it? Would you consider it cheating? As directed by a physician, of course.
I have never used it. I do not consider it cheating. If it keeps you from getting AMS (or something worse) so you can enjoy a big mountain, use it. We all have spent alot of time and $ to climb/hike. I'd hate for somebody to get sick and not be able to enjoy a trip b/c they felt like it was "cheating". Go hike and enjoy. ps, I have been accused of being a dr.
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Joined: January 20th, 2004, 6:42 pm

January 6th, 2007, 10:09 pm #6

Anyone use it? Would you consider it cheating? As directed by a physician, of course.
I used it when I attempted Mount McKinley in 2003. Diamox is NOT a preventive medication. It only works to treat AMS, not to prevent its occurrence. If I were to attempt McKinley again, I would take some along "just in case." I don't consider it cheating in any sense of the word.
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Joined: January 21st, 2004, 6:08 am

January 6th, 2007, 11:00 pm #7

I was under the impression that Diamox was exactly that - preventative. You're supposed to start taking it several days before being exposed to altitude (says the guy who had a problem using it).

Isn't there another medication that's used as a treatment? Injection, I believe? Or have I watched "Vertical Limit" one too many times?

Paging Dr. Craft. Dr. Craft to the forum, stat!
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Joined: January 20th, 2004, 5:18 am

January 7th, 2007, 2:00 am #8

I used it when I attempted Mount McKinley in 2003. Diamox is NOT a preventive medication. It only works to treat AMS, not to prevent its occurrence. If I were to attempt McKinley again, I would take some along "just in case." I don't consider it cheating in any sense of the word.
Thanks for the responses so far. When I posted originally, I was thinking of it more as a preventative measure, but the below site (which at least seems credible) suggests that it can be used for both prevention and treatment:

http://www.traveldoctor.co.uk/altitude.htm

The blurb on Diamox is toward the bottom. Anyway, it sounds like a good thing to have in either event. This year, it took me about 4 days to feel good out west (including a turn-around on Wheeler on Day 2). I'd love to cut that time in half. Vacation days are precious, ya know.
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Joined: January 22nd, 2004, 5:48 am

January 7th, 2007, 4:30 am #9

I used it when I attempted Mount McKinley in 2003. Diamox is NOT a preventive medication. It only works to treat AMS, not to prevent its occurrence. If I were to attempt McKinley again, I would take some along "just in case." I don't consider it cheating in any sense of the word.
"Acetazolamide (Diamox) is the drug of choice for prophylaxis of AMS.... numerous dosage regimens have been effective Smaller doses (125-250 mg a day) started 24 hours before ascent work as well as higher doses started earlier. A 500 mg sustained action capsule of Diamox taken every 24 hors is probably equally effective and results in fewer side effects because of the lower peak serum level. Most authors recommend continuing for the first day or two at high altitude...."

source Wilderness Medicine by Paul Auerbach 4th edition.

I've never used. I have subcribed a few times and people seem to tolerate well. I have talked to hikers who have used without problems.
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Joined: January 22nd, 2004, 5:48 am

January 7th, 2007, 4:34 am #10

I was under the impression that Diamox was exactly that - preventative. You're supposed to start taking it several days before being exposed to altitude (says the guy who had a problem using it).

Isn't there another medication that's used as a treatment? Injection, I believe? Or have I watched "Vertical Limit" one too many times?

Paging Dr. Craft. Dr. Craft to the forum, stat!
For AMS use some Phenergan, fluids, Ibuprofen; and if not better descend. For HAPE ( High Altitude Pulmonary Edema) and HACE (High Altitude Cerebral Edema) descent is treatment of choice. Injectible steroid (Dexamethasone) can be stopgap for HACE and Procardia for HAPE.
Have fun. Remember what Nancy Reagan said; "Hugs are better than drugs, but if you can't get a hug then drug away!"
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