High Altitude Medicine: Half Acetazolamide Dosage Sufficient

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 12 March 2019



Himalayan Altitude Sickness Warning - Indian Army
Himalayan Altitude Sickness Warning - Indian Army, Wiki by Sistak
Wiki by Sistak


Mountain Sickness Medicine

Cutting the standard dose of medication for acute mountain sickness in half does not reduce its effectiveness,
Elsevier, March 11, 2019.


Altitude Sickness
“...10 to 25 percent of trekkers and climbers ascending above 2,500 meters experience AMS, increasing to 50 to 85 percent in individuals ascending above 4,500 to 5,500 meters, especially when the ascent is rapid.”

“...acetazolamide is the standard agent of choice for prophylaxis against altitude illness.”

Side Effects
“...the medication also has problematic side effects, especially at high doses.”

“...paresthesia, altered sensation of taste, frequent urination, headache, nausea, and rash have been found to be more common at higher doses and can lead to safety concerns at high altitudes.”

“...set out to find the lowest possible dose to prevent AMS with the least number and severity of side effects.”

Half Dose Sufficient
"We found that half the recommended prophylactic dose, 62.5 mg twice daily, was just as effective in preventing AMS."

Side Effects Continued
"Our study did not support our secondary hypothesis that there would be fewer, less severe side effects with the reduced dose, as previous studies had led us to predict."

“This finding confirmed the reduced dose was as effective as the standard dose.”



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