Diamox?

Jahvette20

Senior Member
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Mar 25, 2019
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132
Anyone have experience with taking diamox before a high altitude hunt/hike? I’m driving from Pa going to Co to hunt between 8-12000 ft with a friend that’s convinced we need it. Planning on limited stops on the way so no real acclimation. I’ve been at 12000 a bunch of times without issue but not really pushing too hard and also had time to acclimate. I’m skeptical about taking any chemicals, the side effects may be worse than the benefit of any.
 

Jeff Martin

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May 6, 2012
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967
Yes, I have used it multiple times. The side effect that drove me crazy was the tingling in my hands and feet which is a common side effect. I started taking it every other day and it helped with the tingling. I would feel this on about the 4th day of taking it. It helps me sleep damn good in high altitude.
 

idig4au

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Jun 1, 2012
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470
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Back to Central Asia again...
I’ve taken it a few times for hunts in Asia as precautionary measure against high altitude sickness. It’s a diuretic so one of the side effects is having to go pee often. I’m usually only take it if going above 12-13k elevation.

If no real experience with how your body behaves at altitude, it might be worthwhile to start taking it a couple days before you go to altitude. Otherwise I try and get ibuprofen into my system and stay very hydrated as I found that helps with me.

Maybe see what your Dr says
 

Eagle

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Feb 27, 2012
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Colorado
I would suggest to start taking it 3-4 days in advance so that the diuretic effect will be mostly finished and it will be in your system. I took it before a couple trips when I lived east of the Mississippi and the first trip I was so dehydrated that I cramped horribly for the entire trip. Second trip I started it early as I’ve advised and things went much smoother.
 

willfrye027

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Dec 4, 2018
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Take it exactly how it’s prescribed. Altitude sickness happens when your blood becomes too basic. Diamox is a diuretic that helps your kidneys flush out the extra base so that you can adjust more quickly. Your body on its own can do this in about 2 days, but if it gets too far behind or you get dehydrates then it can turn into a vicious cycle. It’s definitely something good to have in the kit, could save a trip. Chat with a doc first and don’t just take your buddy’s prescription...you want to take it correctly for it to work.
 

Mosby

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Jan 1, 2015
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473
I got altitude sickness on a scouting trip to Colorado a couple of years ago. It was awful and had to leave the 2nd day when I realized I was getting worse. I had been there several times before for work, hunting and skiing and never had an issue. I got a prescription from my Doctor last year before my elk hunts and took it before I went to both Idaho and Colorado. I didn't have any issues in Idaho. I didn't feel well the first night in Colorado but was fine after that and I am almost positive that I would have gotten sick had I not had the Diamox. I highly recommend it.
 

ethan

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Dec 7, 2013
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396
One of my hunting buddies is a doc and he prescribed me some for a hunt a few years back. Can’t honestly say it helped because I’ve never experienced altitude sickness on any of my trips but I figure it can’t hurt. As per his instructions, I start taking them a couple days prior to leaving and stop after a day or two at elevation. Only side effect I’ve ever experienced is it makes anything carbonated tastes like crap. But I don’t drink much soda at all, I do like a cold beer every once in a while but by the time we’re out and I’m ready for one it’s a non issue at that point.
 

littlered16

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Jan 24, 2017
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32
Location
FLORIDA
I had some altitude issues on my first two trips out west. I live near sea level and fly out so there isn't much time to acclimate. Last 2 trips I took Diamox and haven't had any issues at all. I start taking a few days before leaving and take it the first few days I'm there. Haven't noticed any side effects.
I'd say go for it.
 

mikechek1212

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Jun 4, 2019
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Is this something that a PCP will typically prescribe just by calling in if you are current on your annual exam?
 

Mosby

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Jan 1, 2015
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Is this something that a PCP will typically prescribe just by calling in if you are current on your annual exam?
Probably depends on the Dr., and maybe how long they have known you. Can't hurt to ask. I asked for mine during my annual check up. Didn't seem like a big deal when I asked for it.
 

HUNTNUT

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Jan 8, 2018
Messages
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Take it!!!! Especially if you do not have time to acclimate. Do not risk losing valuable scouting/hunting time because you didn't get a prescription. I live at 1100ft and have traveled to hunt in Colorado and Wyoming to hunt at elevations above 12,000 ft at least 7/8 times. The first couple times suffered with severe headaches, loss of appetite and did not sleep well. After those trips I have always taken Diamox for a few days before traveling and a few days after arriving at altitude. For me, it eliminates almost all symptoms. I have travelled from 1100ft and hiked in to 12000ft in less than 24hrs with no problems. Good luck.
 

jdmaxwell

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Mar 8, 2014
Messages
225
I live in PA. Hunt Colorado every year.
Went snowboarding one year to Brekenridge. Got altitude sickness bad. ER doctor told me I had 5 hrs to live if I had not came in. X ray showed 1 lung completely full fluid. Other partially.
Ever since every year I take Diamox.
But,,, it crushes my stomach on the mountain to the point last year i quit taking it.
I will not take it anymore. But to each his own.
Acclimate most important thing and pound water.
 
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