Diamox – Does It Combat Acute Mountain Sickness?

Acute Mountain Sickness

Kilimanjaro Health And Medications play the most vital role in successful Kilimanjaro Climbing. Because after climbing to a certain height, the most common and the most dangerous obstacle is found which is called Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). Medical science has delivered a medicine brand Diamox with the composition acetazolamide which avoids the mild symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness.


  • High altitude is the elevation above 1500metres above sea level and can be divide into the following categories the high altitude (1500-3500m), very high altitude (3500-5500m), and extreme altitude (>5500m).
  • At the high altitude region, the air pressure is lower than that of sea level and gets lower as you climb higher. This means the amount of oxygen in the air remains constant and the amount of oxygen in the lungs and blood vessels is less.
  • If you ascend gradually to the higher altitude, the body will be able to adjust to the reduced oxygen levels. This adjustment process is called acclimatization.
  • If the ascent is too instantaneous, then the acclimatization may not occur rapidly and altitude Sickness may ensue.
  • If you travel to higher altitudes over 2500m, it is at risk of altitude illness. Altitude illness defines three conditions that may occur in your body who ascend rapidly to high altitude.
  • Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), High Altitude Pulmonary edema (HAPE), and High Altitude Cerebral edema (HACE) are the other serious consequences of altitude sickness. Early, mild symptoms of AMS are headache, dizziness, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, irregular breathing, nausea or vomiting, and insomnia.
  • This usually occurs within 36 hours after surfing at altitude. If you ignore the mild symptoms of  AMS and continues to ascent, the condition can rapidly lead to severe forms of the illness as HACE and HAPE, which are some serious life-threatening conditions that need urgent medical attention.


  • It is quite interesting to know how it works in the body.
  • Ninety percent of the carbon dioxide present in the blood exists in a chemical called bicarbonate. Diamox is the medicine that facilitates the body to eliminate bicarbonate through urine.
  • It makes the blood more acidic and when the blood gets acidic, the body inhibits more carbon dioxide in it.
  • To get rid of these excess carbon dioxides, the body increases its ventilation.
  • Otherwise, the user breathes deeper and faster and also takes more oxygen inside the body.
  • This helps to prevent and treat altitude sickness or Acute Mountain Sickness. Without Diamox, it will be harder to adapt to the higher altitude, because the body counteracts the deficiency in oxygen level in the atmosphere by breathing faster and deeper intrinsically.
  • Diamox also increases the respiratory rate along with speeding up the acclimatization process and this is the most important part of Kilimanjaro Health & Medications to fight against altitude sickness.
  • It has been proving that the use of Diamox prevents and treat altitude sickness. Therefore, you will feel relief from Acute Mountain Sickness symptoms after taking Diamox.
  • Diamox should use as a preventative measure and it should be taken 24 to 28 hours prior to your start to ascent and throughout Kilimanjaro Trekking.
  • Diamox is also essential for other purposes, like treating glaucoma, epilepsy, and fluid retention. So this drug may have some side things in your body besides increasing pulmonary function.
  • Taking Diamox is the best if you are facing a rapid ascent to the altitude, where there is a scene of intense exertion at high altitude and the altitude gain is above 300-500 meters per day.
  • But the people with Sulphur allergies are strictly prohibited from taking Diamox. Sulfur can be found in some antibiotics, some diabetic medication, and certain diuretic medications. So it is better to consult your doctor if you are planning to consume these medications.


  • The normal dose of Diamox to prevent high altitude sickness is 125mg twice a day.
  • Those who have not taken Diamox before try for a home trial, for two days, before traveling in high altitude.
  • If there are no side effects, take 3 days before your journey at 3,500m till you reach the maximum altitude.
  • Take 125mg taken twice daily 24 to 48 hours before you start to ascend to the high altitude
  •  Acetazolamide is also available as a dose of 250mg tablets, which can be divided into quarters so it is possible to give smaller doses such as 125mg.

During your Mount Kilimanjaro Trekking, you will have to come across the high altitude maximum time. Diamox act as that weapon that will shield you against Acute Mountain Sickness. It does not cure Kilimanjaro Altitude Sickness but reduces the effects and gives your body much time to get acclimatize.

Contact us for the most exciting Kilimanjaro trip and do comment below if you have any queries.

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