If you are going to be traveling to or climbing at high altitudes, you need to know what medicine works best to prevent altitude sickness. Due to the increasing number of people traveling to high altitude vacation spots and mountaineering becoming more popular; This influx of travelers has also lead to an increase in the number of people being treated for symptoms of altitude sickness such as dizziness, fatigue and and headaches.
Both travelers, hikers and mountaineers alike experience various degrees of altitude sickness. We've reviewed what medicine helps with altitude sickness to help you find the best medicine to prevent altitude sickness.
While you may be familiar with altitude sickness (also referred to as Acute Mountain Sickness), you might be wondering what is altitude sickness? Altitude sickness is a serious health condition that occurs when you're in a lower oxygen environment causing you to breathe less oxygen than normal. If you get altitude sickness it can make your trip a dreadful experience.
This can happen when mountaineers climb mountains or when people visit the mountains and aren't prepared for the change in elevation. It usually starts at 8000 feet and will continually worsen at you ascend to higher altitudes. Altitude sickness symptoms can include headaches, shortness of breath, disorientation, insomnia, nausea, weakness and dizziness---which is why most seek out medicine to prevent altitude sickness.
According to Dr. David Gray in Breckenridge Colorado (elevation 9,600 feet), he states that up as many as 30% of visitors experience altitude sickness. That would estimate that around a third of travelers to higher altitude locations will feel the effects or symptoms of altitude sickness. Whether you’re trekking mountains or flying to a higher altitude vacation destination, there are medicines currently available to prevent altitude sickness.
Below we lay out the best high altitude sickness medicines. Whether looking for an over the counter altitude sickness medicine or medicine to prevent altitude sickness in general, we got you covered.
If you're looking for a natural approach to high elevations such as a supplement, our secret weapon for altitude is Zaca hydration + recovery chewables. They help your body rehydrate, replenish and recover.
One of Zaca's key ingredients is glutathione, helping to supplement the important amino acid back into the body. Glutathione was shown to significantly decrease by 43%-45% at high altitudes in a study done by European Journal of Applied Physiology.⁷ Glutathione is considered the body's master antioxidant and is required for numerous functions, like combating oxidative stress at high altitudes.
1. CDC High-Altitude Travel & Altitude Illness
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3. The effects of acetazolamide on the ventilatory response to high altitude hypoxia
4. The use of dexamethasone in support of high-altitude ground operations and physical performance: review of the literature
5. Ibuprofen decreases likelihood of altitude sickness, researchers find
6. Altitude sickness can spoil a vacation. Here’s what to do.
7. Effect of high altitude (7,620 m) exposure on glutathione and related metabolism in rats