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Should we take diamox or not?

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Bangkok, Thailand
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Should we take diamox or not?

I will arrive from Lima to Cuzco and go to stay at Urambamba for one night. Next morning, go to Machu Pichu, spend a night there and then heading to spend my third and fourth night in Cuzco. Base on this, should I take diamox since Lima or start when?

I used to have terrible headache when I went to the mountain about 2500 M high. So, I'm a bit worry about this trip.

Los Altos Hills, CA
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11. Re: Should we take diamox or not?

I took Diamox for 3 days, starting in Lima the day before our flight to Cusco. I am not sure if it did anything as I still felt out of breadth and was a little queasy. But no headaches except when drinking alcohol. My husband didn't take any and fared better. But I definitely didn't feel any side effects from the Diamox either.

BTW, we both asked our doctors, and neither was definitive on whether to take it.

New York, NY
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12. Re: Should we take diamox or not?

I just got back from Peru and I took Diamox only when altitude sickness symptoms kicked in, which was the advice from my doctor. And it did work after 30 minutes or so (to digest and circulate the drug).

My general symptoms from altitude sickness was headache, shortness of breath (only my last day in Cusco, back from the Inca trail, too!), tingling of the hands and feet (without the drug). I had drowsiness from Diamox on the first time I used it, but then no side effects after that.

If you only suffer from headache, tylenol or advil also works -- this is what my wife did. Coca tea definitely helped as well along with just drinking water in general.

Edited: 4:47 pm, September 27, 2013
Atlanta, Georgia
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13. Re: Should we take diamox or not?

4 of us took diamox in cusco with NO side effects.

did not take it in denver ,usa and copper mountain usa (10,000 ft about) - had bad cases at 2am of cant breathe.

diamox is cheap, ask doctor, maybe try it

Umeå
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for Leh
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14. Re: Should we take diamox or not?

Denver is at 1600 meters , too low for both altitude sickness and acclimatization. Also lower/higher airpressure than on airplanes , except the new Dreamliners and Boeings new plane.

Chicago, Illinois
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15. Re: Should we take diamox or not?

On airplanes you are sitting still with no exertion. It's not a good approximation of what you'll feel walking around at altitude.

Lots of people get mild altitude symptoms like shortness if breath or headaches in Denver. It's not everyone but not uncommon.

Mi Wuk Village...
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16. Re: Should we take diamox or not?

I'd be curious to hear details about that oxygenated room to see how much benefit it has. Do they give info on levels of O2? Personally, I wouldn't want to be in a room with huge oxygen tanks. Oxygen concentrator machines are far safer. Fire hazard comes to mind. There is a reason why hospitals put patients on canulas rather than flood the room. Does the room provide a high enough level of oxygen to make a difference? A recent thread mentioned small tanks of oxygen for sale in Cuzco. They contained about 30 seconds of oxygen.

Atlanta, Georgia
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17. Re: Should we take diamox or not?

The only place we had trouble was Cusco. A bit dizzy and upset stomachs. We did take diamox so I don't know how bad it would've been without. We did end up spending an evening in the time not feeling well. We were fine in Machu Picchu. When we got back to Cusco we felt fine and we weren't taking the diamox anymore. Side effects for me were tingly fingers.

Umeå
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18. Re: Should we take diamox or not?

"I'd be curious to hear details about that oxygenated room to see how much benefit it has. Do they give info on levels of O2?"

I´m highly sceptical : to make this work effectively ( like they do at the Chajnantor Observatory or on the train to Tibet , http://korta.nu/3e3c ) you need to make sure that ventilation is minimal , and that the volume is small as well. One cubic meter is 1000 liters , and the oxygen is not added to a static volume : think pouring paint in a stream. Every time you open the doors the concentration will drop. You won´t reach concentrations that equals the amount of oxygen at sea level , so fire hazard is not an issue.

Denver is same ( less than a hundred meters difference ) as Kathmandu and Srinagar : you tire faster , but no one acclimatizes or get altitude sickness at this altitude. This is a problem nowadays with the start of the trekking season in Nepal , with many sherpas being based down in Kathmandu. Saw a young sherpa last time with altitude sickness at Gosaikhund , after a fast run from Ktm.

Edited: 4:53 am, September 29, 2013
19. Re: Should we take diamox or not?

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