Altitude Sickness Tablets: Avoid the symptoms of acute mountain sickness and enjoy your high-altitude adventure. Click the button below to start your consultation to buy Altitude Sickness Treatment today.
Prepare for your high-altitude adventures at our online clinic. Whether you're scaling Mount Kilimanjaro, exploring the Andes, or journeying to Everest Base Camp, we have your well-being covered as you ascend to 2,500 meters above sea level and beyond.
While acclimatisation is the most effective way to adapt to high altitudes, we understand that sometimes it's not an option and its these times that its vitally important to be taking altitude sickness tablets like Acetazolamide.
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What is high altitude?
When we talk about a destination being at a high altitude we are referring to the number of vertical metres above sea level the destination is. For example, London is about 21m above sea level, whilst Machu Pichu in Peru is 2430m above sea level. Incidentally, Machu Pichu is lower than Cusco which is 3400m. That's 3.4km!
When we think of high altitudes at our clinic we are concerned with sleeping altitudes above 2500m.
What is Altitude Sickness?
Altitude sickness is common in climbers that ascend to above 2,500 metres too quickly, and whilst 2500m tends to be the common altitude we can reach without suffering from altitude sickness this can be much lower.
Commonly we see travellers going to the Andes, Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, and Mt. Kenya, and some of the most adventurous head to Everest base camp. The higher you go the lower the atmospheric pressure, which makes breathing difficult because you are unable to take in as much oxygen as normal.
Altitude Sickness can be broken down into 3 conditions. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), High Altitude Pulmonary Oedema (HAPE) and High Altitude Cerebral Oedema (HACE).
The decreasing oxygen levels in your body can start to cause some of the main symptoms of acute mountain sickness like:
- Dizziness & exhaustion.
In some cases, these symptoms can turn into more serious conditions called High Altitude Pulmonary Oedema (HAPE) and High Altitude Cerebral Oedema (HACE). These require immediate medical attention!
HAPE | Some of the symptoms to look out for are bubbling sounds in the chest, shortness of breath and a cough with pink frothy sputum.
HACE | HACE always follows acute mountain sickness and is entirely avoidable if AMS symptoms are recognised promptly. Symptoms of HACE include drowsiness, changes in mood, poor coordination, impaired consciousness and ultimately death.
What can I do to prevent altitude sickness?
There are a number of measures that you can take to help avoid symptoms of altitude sickness, the most common way is to climb slowly so your body can properly acclimatise to heights of 2,500m or more. Normally your body will need 24-48 hours to adjust, if symptoms have calmed after this time you can start to ascend. It is important to remember that once you are above 3,000 metres, not to increase the altitude of more than 300-500m per night. Altitude sickness is fairly common in mountaineers and skiers, as most ski resorts are around this height. Travelpharm offers Acetazolamide which is taken twice a day. You should begin taking the medication two days before you start to ascend. Continue taking it while you are ascending and for at least two days after you have reached your highest altitude. For further information regarding altitude sickness, see our Altitude Sickness information page."
Do altitude sickness tablets work?
Yes - but not always. While Acetazolamide is a common tool for expediting acclimatisation, it may not always be effective against altitude sickness symptoms or High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE). Most notably, it won't obscure any of the crucial warning signs. By adopting prudent planning and avoiding overly rapid ascents, it's entirely possible to prevent HACE and HAPE without using any medicines.
Can I buy altitude sickness tablets over the counter?
What do we mean by the term over the counter? In the UK over-the-counter medicines are medicines you can only buy from a pharmacy under the supervision of a pharmacist. These are sometimes known as P medicines. Some medicines can be bought at a supermarket or shop and these are known as GSL medicines (General Sales List). If a medicine isn't GSL or P it is Prescription Only (POM) by default.
Altitude Sickness tablets are a prescription-only medicine in the UK, so cannot be bought over the counter at your local pharmacy but we can help. After completing a short consultation, our prescriber will be able to issue a prescription for a suitable medicine for your upcoming trip. Our pharmacy can then ship these to you using your preferred postage method selected at checkout.
Our prescriber who is registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) will assess your consultation and if there are any problems or concerns they will get in touch to discuss these with you.
Some Common Destinations that are at high altitudes
Not an exhaustive list, but we often provide altitude sickness prevention tablets for patients visiting the following areas high altitude regions:
Bolivia - La Paz, Salar de Uyuni
Peru - Cusco and Machu Pichu
Chile - Atacama Desert
Kenya - Mount Kenya
Tanzania - Mount Kilamanjaro, Mount Meru
Morrocco - Atlas Mountains: Mount Toubkal
Nepal - Himalayas and Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Range
Indonesia - Mount Kinabalu
At Peak Pharmacy Online we offer FREE delivery on most orders over £35, we aim to provide the best price and service at all times. With genuine products dispensed from our UK pharmacy, we aim to offer a website and service that strives to help you choose the most efficient, suitable medicines for you and your family.