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Heard about suffering AMS for people travelling to a height. I would like to know about some medication?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1986
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Hello Doctor, I would like to know about some medication for Acute Mountain Sickness. My family is planning is to visit Ladakh in next few weeks and I have heard about the chances of suffering AMS mostly for people traveling to a height of about 0000 ft. or more on a single day. In order to visit such altitude, is it necessary to take some kind of medication such as Diamox? Please advise on whether to take this kind of medication for the first few days of the trip. Do you think it will be appropriate to get a proper health check up done before traveling? We had a master health check up done two months back and results were pretty much normal. Are there any risks involved in taking AMS preventive medication? Please advise. Thanking you in advance.
Posted Thu, 30 May 2013 in Medicines and Side Effects
Answered by Dr. Akhilesh Dubey 1 hour later
Thanks for sharing your concerns,

Acute Mountain sickness is effect of high altitude on humans, caused by acute low partial pressure of oxygen at high altitude.
It commonly occurs above 2,400 metres (8,000 feet).

It is difficult to predict who will be affected, so it is better understand it
Headache is associated with many other symptoms like, drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, swelling and fast heart rate.

If you are healthy no check up before travelling is required, it is prevented by altitude acclimatization.Keep yourself well hydrated and do not take alcohol.

Acetazolamide (Diamox) may be useful as prophylaxis for the sickness if started 24 hours before rapidly going to such height.
Please consult local Physician and take proper prescription for that.

Let me tell you Ladakh is beautiful place to visit,I wish good luck to you and enjoy your trip.

Hope I have addressed all your concerns, if you have any doubt please feel free to ask me, I will be happy to help.
Take care
Dr. Akhilesh Dubey M.D
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