Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » Diamox


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Hartley F
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
Diamox on 10/14/2009 21:29:55 MDT Print View

Any bad experiences?

Lori Pontious
(lori999)

Locale: Central Valley
re: Diamox on 10/14/2009 22:02:47 MDT Print View

If you're allergic to sulfa antibiotics like me, then you would probably have a bad experience. I have never tried Diamox and never will.

Kimberly Wersal
(kwersal) - MLife

Locale: Western Colorado
Re: Diamox on 10/14/2009 22:54:31 MDT Print View

I've taken it numerous times with no problem- and it does help. If I hike at over 13,000 feet for more than an hour or two I get killer headaches/nausea, which kind of spoils the fun. The Diamox saves me the misery.

Hartley F
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
Sulfa on 10/14/2009 23:51:34 MDT Print View

Yeah Lori, that's an excellent point. If you get anything more than just a rash from sulfa drugs, Diamox probably might not a good idea. I think I get a bit of photosensitivity from Celebrex -- another sulfa drug. I will keep this in mind.

Had it around for years, just never bothered. Mechanisms involved are very intriguing. Think I will finally mess with it this winter -- ski trip to a resort or something -- controlled setting. Interested in going to some more serious elevations eventually and would like to see how it effects me.

Edited by backpackerchick on 10/15/2009 00:00:39 MDT.

Brian Barnes
(brianjbarnes)

Locale: Midwest
RE "Diamox" on 10/15/2009 10:43:24 MDT Print View

I've used Diamox when I'm ascending faster than i'd prefer. Definitely can cross react to those allergic to sulfonamides. Tolerated it ok, seemed to work, but consistently have some annoying paresthesias on my cheeks (ahem... facial cheeks) and bottom of my feet. Such ADRs are a fairly common complaint amongst our ICU patients.

You may enjoy this site. I've listen to Hackett speak at SCCM a year or so ago... neat guy http://www.altitudemedicine.org/

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Diamox on 10/16/2009 13:18:26 MDT Print View

I get a rash from Sulfa drugs. I don't recall getting a rash from Diamox.

The bad thing about my experience with diamox was that I spent the money for it and it was not necessary. It also makes my fingers tingle.

Hartley F
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
Re: Re: Diamox on 10/16/2009 23:59:42 MDT Print View

It's light on the sulfonomides. Not necessary? How does one know whether it affected the rate of acclimatization?

Edited by backpackerchick on 10/17/2009 00:07:27 MDT.

Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Diamox on 10/17/2009 01:28:28 MDT Print View

Wow...this one keeps coming up.

I've taken it with great success. You certainly can't know for sure if it's helping you because you don't have an identical control of yourself along for the trip, Although, I've experienced altitude sickness regularly, and at even moderately low altitudes (7-9k ft), and was able to ascend from sea level to nearly 11000 feet in one day with not so much as a headache. I did have tingly hands, peed a bit more often. Also, soft drinks and beer tasted flat for a few days.

There are a lot of factors that contribute to AMS--hydration, rest, fitness, exertion, underlying illness--but Diamox can help you acclimate, and has been shown to reduce AMS in double-blind control studies.

It's important to say that if you have any symptoms of HAPE or HACE, Diamox won't do anything to cure that, and you should descend immediately and get medical attention.

Poke around on google and you can find a lot of information about it (percentage of people who suffer side effects, its effectiveness, etc.).

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim)

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Diamox on 10/17/2009 08:05:22 MDT Print View

I took a wilderness first aid class 2 years ago. They said that one of Diamox's most helpful aspects was in preventing altitude related sleep disruption. I believe the "by the book" course is regular doses at a given interval. Per the WFA class, they said that taking diamox before bed was quite beneficial. I'm not a doc (not even close), so DO NOT take my word for it, but maybe the taking it at night thing is worth investigating.

I've also heard alka-seltzer has some amelioritve qualities WRT altitude, but that's completely anecdotal.

Hartley F
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
Cialis on 10/17/2009 16:15:10 MDT Print View

Cialis is gaining a following. Dilates the pulmonary vessels as well as those other vessels.

Edited by backpackerchick on 10/17/2009 16:16:30 MDT.

Laurence Beck
(beckla) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
re:Cialis on 10/17/2009 16:49:01 MDT Print View

Plus, it provides a handle with which to drag you out of the wilderness if a rescue is needed...

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Diamox on 10/17/2009 16:53:57 MDT Print View

"They said that one of Diamox's most helpful aspects was in preventing altitude related sleep disruption. I believe the "by the book" course is regular doses at a given interval. Per the WFA class, they said that taking diamox before bed was quite beneficial. I'm not a doc (not even close), so DO NOT take my word for it, but maybe the taking it at night thing is worth investigating."

I know a doc who takes it regularly, at altitudes 18-20,000', for Cheyne Stokes Syndrome. He says it is very effective, something to do with retaining more CO2 in the blood. The hypothesis is based on the premise that CO2 buildup in the blood is what triggers the breathing reflex; When at high altitude, the partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere being less than that in the blood, there is a tendency for CO2 in the blood to flare off and drop to levels below that required to trigger the breathing reflex. The result is long delays between breaths which in turn triggers a series of gasps to make up for the oxygen deficit that ensues. I'm not a doc either, but his explanation makes sense to a layman.

Comments from any medical professionals would be appreciated.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: re:Cialis on 10/17/2009 17:06:22 MDT Print View

"Plus, it provides a handle with which to drag you out of the wilderness if a rescue is needed..."

Assuming it takes longer than 4 hours to drag you out of the wilderness, your original injury is likely to be the least of your concerns. ;}

Hartley F
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
Re: Re: re:Cialis on 10/17/2009 18:56:06 MDT Print View

Larry and Tom -- LMAO.

Re: Diamox. Altitude --> hyperventilation --> blow off too much CO2 --> respiratory alkalosis.

Diamox works on the kidney to cause a metabolic acidosis. Theoretically, these processes should offset each other. Start a few days prior to ascent. Various dosing regimens. Not a large body of evidence. Also a mild diuretic. Not completely understood. Not a tx. Prophylaxis. Tx dex and down fast.

Bpl not phone friendly.

Edited by backpackerchick on 10/17/2009 19:12:22 MDT.

Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
Diamox, cialis, viagra for high altitude. on 10/17/2009 20:49:32 MDT Print View

Interesting stuff.
A quick google yields:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sildenafil has some references for the use of viagra for hypoxia and HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema).

http://www.annals.org/cgi/content/abstract/145/7/497
In this study they took 29 adults with previous HAPE from 490 meters to 4559 m (~15000 ft) in 24 hours, treating with placebo, diamox and tadafil (cialis). " High-altitude pulmonary edema developed in 7 of 9 participants receiving placebo and 1 of the remaining 8 participants receiving tadalafil but in none of the 10 participants receiving dexamethasone"
In particular note that 7 of 9 developed HAPE, which is life threatening!! Presumably there was ample medical care on site.

A link to a picture of the mountain:
http://www.melotti.net/ricordi_di_viaggio/capanna_margherita_2/capanna-margherita.jpg

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Diamox on 10/17/2009 21:00:05 MDT Print View

> the premise that CO2 buildup in the blood is what triggers the breathing reflex;

I don't think that is a 'premise'; I believe it is a very well-established fact.
To bring people out of anaesthetic quickly they sometimes give them what is called 'carboxygen'.A high oxygen concentration, plus a solid dose of carbon dioxide. The breathing is strongly stimulated to flush the anaesthetic out of your bloodstream.

Cheers

Tohru Ohnuki
(erdferkel) - F

Locale: S. California
Re: Re: re:Cialis on 10/17/2009 22:24:26 MDT Print View

"Assuming it takes longer than 4 hours to drag you out of the wilderness, your original injury is likely to be the least of your concerns. ;}"

Won't take that long if you girth hitch it with a sling to the helicopter cable for short-haul...

Hartley F
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
Re: Diamox, cialis, viagra for high altitude. on 10/17/2009 22:39:13 MDT Print View

ALL study participants had PREVIOUS HAPE! That is extremely significant here -- a very select group. I did a double take on this one. What? ONLY 15,000 ft and all these people with HAPE -- but we already knew they were especially prone -- that is why they were selected! In giving dex, they were sort of treating the problem before it occurred.

Prophylactic dexamethasone is becoming popular on very high altitude expeditions. If taken for an extended period of time, dex can have some significant consequences. Even when used briefly can cause agitation and insomnia among other things. Medex, a UK group, does a lot of work on the topic of high altitude physiology. You can download a free book on the topic from their site. Much of the physiology is not well understood.

Edited by backpackerchick on 10/17/2009 22:43:41 MDT.

Hartley F
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
Diamox on 10/17/2009 23:33:24 MDT Print View

Don't believe Diamox causes CO2 retention (which would be a respiratory acidosis) but rather HCO3- and K+ wasting via the renal system. K+ loss is balanced by H+ retention. The result being higher H+ levels in the blood and thus a metabolic acidosis. The idea being to offset the expected respiratory alkalosis caused by CO2 loss via the lungs. Buffering. More based on theory than evidence. Can no doubt find LOTS of info re: acid-base physiology on the web.

Wonder how much of any beneficial effect is related to the diuretic effect of Diamox which after all is a diuretic.

Edited by backpackerchick on 10/17/2009 23:36:51 MDT.

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Viagra on 10/18/2009 06:26:07 MDT Print View

Viagra has a valuable safety function when used on multi-day climbs. It can stop you rolling off narrow ledges on big face routes when you are sleeping.