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Diamox and acetazolamide
Post: #1
Hi anyone going on a high altitude trip, especially Roof of the World in Sept.

I have struggled to get Diamox but I have got Acetazolamide.
I went to a couple of chemist chains who rang around to suppliers but failed to get Diamox, stating they hadn't had it for a couple of months.
The second pharmacy said they could get Acetazolamide but they said it wasn't Diamox, didn't mention generic.
I went back home, googled it. Trade name for Acetazolamide is Diamox. Although on the web site it states how to use the tablets for mountain sickness and altitude it doesn't actually mention using the tablets for these reasons on the leaflet that came with the tablets.

Di
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Post: #2
(02/08/2017, 07:15 PM)Dina Wrote: Hi anyone going on a high altitude trip, especially Roof of the World in Sept.

I have struggled to get Diamox but I have got Acetazolamide.
I went to a couple of chemist chains who rang around to suppliers but failed to get Diamox, stating they hadn't had it for a couple of months.
The second pharmacy said they could get Acetazolamide but they said it wasn't Diamox, didn't mention generic.
I went back home, googled it. Trade name for Acetazolamide is Diamox. Although on the web site it states how to use the tablets for mountain sickness and altitude it doesn't actually mention using the tablets for these reasons on the leaflet that came with the tablets.

Di
Di,
Did you find this link?  

http://www.traveldoctor.co.uk/diamox.htm

Sylvia
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Post: #3
Hi Di

I have a box of Diamox tablets in front of me! I got them on prescription via my GP - the dispensing date on the box is 6/5/17 - having said that all the writing on the box is Italian although the enclosed instructions are totally in English. The use by date is 09/2020. The price on the box is €3.03 for 12 (250 mg) tablets. The info says repackaged in UK. Although this is more than a couple of months ago I guess Diamox may still be available under the brand name as well as as a generic product?

I was originally prescribed time release capsules. However, if you are using this medication for altitude sickness it makes sense to have tablets which you can split - recommended by some, as is testing your reaction to the medication before you head for the heights!

Hope you are still doing your walking and climbing exercises - what is it with Chinese (and Tibetans) and steps, steps and more steps with the occasional slopes and ramps! I wish I had stuck more strictly to my pre holiday exercise regime. Rolleyes  However I did cope with every climb I wanted to do - at my own pace, taking a breather as and when.

I also did some breathing exercises in the weeks leading up to the holiday - as per a friend who goes diving. I like to feel that helped too.

My avatar yak was taken at probably the highest spot on our trip!
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Post: #4
(02/08/2017, 07:15 PM)Dina Wrote: Hi anyone going on a high altitude trip, especially Roof of the World in Sept.

I have struggled to get Diamox but I have got Acetazolamide.
I went to a couple of chemist chains who rang around to suppliers but failed to get Diamox, stating they hadn't had it for a couple of months.
The second pharmacy said they could get Acetazolamide but they said it wasn't Diamox, didn't mention generic.
I went back home, googled it. Trade name for Acetazolamide is Diamox. Although on the web site it states how to use the tablets for mountain sickness and altitude it doesn't actually mention using the tablets for these reasons on the leaflet that came with the tablets.

Di

Hi Di,

Diamox and Acetazolamide are the same thing! I got mine on prescription from the doctor (I thought you could only get it on prescription). I have them in front of me! 250mg tablets, take half a tablet twice a day. I made the mistake of not taking them until we flew to Lhasa - start taking them a day or two before you fly to Lhasa from Chengdu. The only side effects I got from them (and this is a side effect of altitude sickness as well) were tingling fingers first thing in the morning. I thoroughly recommend taking them on this trip.

Enjoy!

Cheers,
Hils
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Post: #5
(03/08/2017, 01:25 PM)Hils Wrote:
(02/08/2017, 07:15 PM)Dina Wrote: Hi anyone going on a high altitude trip, especially Roof of the World in Sept.

I have struggled to get Diamox but I have got Acetazolamide.
I went to a couple of chemist chains who rang around to suppliers but failed to get Diamox, stating they hadn't had it for a couple of months.
The second pharmacy said they could get Acetazolamide but they said it wasn't Diamox, didn't mention generic.
I went back home, googled it. Trade name for Acetazolamide is Diamox. Although on the web site it states how to use the tablets for mountain sickness and altitude it doesn't actually mention using the tablets for these reasons on the leaflet that came with the tablets.

Di

Hi Di,

Diamox and Acetazolamide are the same thing! I got mine on prescription from the doctor (I thought you could only get it on prescription). I have them in front of me! 250mg tablets, take half a tablet twice a day. I made the mistake of not taking them until we flew to Lhasa - start taking them a day or two before you fly to Lhasa from Chengdu. The only side effects I got from them (and this is a side effect of altitude sickness as well) were tingling fingers first thing in the morning. I thoroughly recommend taking them on this trip.

Enjoy!

Cheers,
Hils

> Diamox and Acetazolamide are the same thing

Yes, Diamox is the trade name (which is perhaps why it is no longer used?), my GP at least now prescribes Acetazolamide: my first prescription in March 2015 specified "Diamox", but my second last year specified "Acetazolamide" If you get Diamox now, it might be a good idea to check the 'use by' date . . .

> I thoroughly recommend taking them on this trip.

This highlights the major difference between the JY and TS tours, and illustrates why I preferred the TS itinerary  (and why I would still choose it in preference to the JY one): the JY tour flies directly from Chengdu (at ground level, I think) to Lhasa (3650m.) - and then does not even stay in Lhasa (Yumbulakang is at 3740m., Gyantse at 4000m. via the Karo La pass at about 5000m.) - whereas the TS one involves a gradual ascent via Zhongdian ("Shangri La") at 3200-3300m. so, by the time we reached Lhasa, we were all acclimatised: because of this, I took Acetolazamide with me but did not need to use it. Also, "Tibet" extends beyond the TAR, so we did in fact see more of Tibet in the wider sense.

More useful information in this thread: "Roof of the World - advice on altitude" (https://forum.justyou.co.uk/thread-83367...ght=diamox), in the MEDEX booklet "Travel at High Altitude" (http://medex.org.uk//medex_book/english_version.php), and on the Traveldoctor and Dr Fox medical websites (eg http://traveldoctor.co.uk/diamox.htm; https://www.doctorfox.co.uk/altitude-sic...mation_tab)

Oh, and don't forget that Acetazolamide is a diuretic so, if you drink lots of water as recommended, then . . .

All that said, I would still go: Tibet is a fascinating place, and I wouldn't have missed it for anything.

Now, if JY could be persuaded to include an (optional?!) excursion to Everest Base Camp . . .

Jim
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Post: #6
Hi Sylvia

Thank you for your reply.
No, I hadn't seen that website so I have just had a quick look and will read it properly later. 
I had only googled the word "acetazolamide", where it said that it was Diamox.
Was a bit fed up with the chemist because she didn't say. I had got Diamox on a private prescription from the GP. along with two other items on the same prescription. These items were for a broad spectrum antibiotic and strong travel pills. 
The two different pharmacies both said that they could get the two items but Diamox wasn't available. The lady at the second pharmacy wrote down "acetazolamide", but she didn't say it was Diamox or that it was a generic. To be fair she was very young and probably inexperienced. She said that she could get "acetazolamide" but I told her to forget it. So got home googled "acetazolamide" and after realizing it was Diamox I went back to the pharmacy. So I asked pharmacist to get me some but Diamox was written on the prescription  so she wouldn't get it until I got another prescription with "acetazolamide" on it and not Diamox. 
Have got everything now, but what a palaver.
Put a thread up in case anyone else has a problem.

Hope you have a good holiday wherever you are going next, Sylvia.
Best wishes
Di
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Post: #7
Hi Kedi


Great to hear from you. Love the yak!

I have just written a reply to Sylvia. It was quite a waffly reply because of all the hassle I have had trying to get Diamox. Yes, I had got it on prescription. I won't go into all the details here because obviously if you want to be bored you can read the details on my post to Sylvia.

Yes, I am still going up and down my stairs a lot. I figure the stairs are better than my exercise bike in this case because of all the steps in China. My kids aren't so sure about that though and I can't say I feel much fitter. 
I might give breathing exercises  a trial then. Thank you for mentioning that.
 I am looking forward to the holiday more now but I will take  a note from your book, thank you, regarding steps.

Have you got anything else planned? I am doing the Chile with Easter Island in February and then Nov 2018 I have Burma booked. 2019 may well have to be a "staycation" or a short haul as Chile is so expensive.

Best wishes
Di
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Post: #8
Hi Hils
Great to hear from you and useful to read your comments.
Yes, I know Diamox and Acetazolamide are the same, but I didn't until I googled "acetazolamide".
I did have a private presciption from the GP which had 3 medications on it. Apart from Diamox, the other 2 medications were for a broad spectrum antibiotic and strong travel pills.
If you read my reply to Sylvia you will see what a hassle I had getting Diamox. I didn't want anyone else to have the same problem.
I did read that if you start taking Diamox the day before you go to higher altitude it will also help you to acclimatize quicker, which I am sure we need on this trip.
Thinking of my strong travel pills I hope they don't react badly with Diamox and that I am too drowsy to take in the beautiful scenery in Tibet.
Enjoy Chile and Easter Island. When you return if you have any advice on this tour I would be grateful to hear it, please, as I have booked to go in February.

Cheers!
Di
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Post: #9
(03/08/2017, 06:07 PM)Dina Wrote: Hi Hils
Great to hear from you and useful to read your comments.
Yes, I know Diamox and Acetazolamide are the same, but I didn't until I googled "acetazolamide".
I did have a private presciption from the GP which had 3 medications on it. Apart from Diamox, the other 2 medications were for a broad spectrum antibiotic and strong travel pills.
If you read my reply to Sylvia you will see what a hassle I had getting Diamox. I didn't want anyone else to have the same problem.
I did read that if you start taking Diamox the day before you go to higher altitude it will also help you to acclimatize quicker, which I am sure we need on this trip.
Thinking of my strong travel pills I hope they don't react badly with Diamox and that I am too drowsy to take in the beautiful scenery in Tibet.
Enjoy Chile and Easter Island. When you return if you have any advice on this tour I would be grateful to hear it, please, as I have booked to go in February.

Cheers!
Di
Hello Di,

Yes, I did appreciate the problems you had, often that can be a problem with generic and trade names.  Unfortunately I was in a hurry and didn't say that the link may have been useful regarding when to take the medication.
Hope you have a good trip.
Sylvia
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Post: #10
(03/08/2017, 06:07 PM)Dina Wrote: Hi Hils
Great to hear from you and useful to read your comments.
Yes, I know Diamox and Acetazolamide are the same, but I didn't until I googled "acetazolamide".
I did have a private presciption from the GP which had 3 medications on it. Apart from Diamox, the other 2 medications were for a broad spectrum antibiotic and strong travel pills.
If you read my reply to Sylvia you will see what a hassle I had getting Diamox. I didn't want anyone else to have the same problem.
I did read that if you start taking Diamox the day before you go to higher altitude it will also help you to acclimatize quicker, which I am sure we need on this trip.
Thinking of my strong travel pills I hope they don't react badly with Diamox and that I am too drowsy to take in the beautiful scenery in Tibet.
Enjoy Chile and Easter Island. When you return if you have any advice on this tour I would be grateful to hear it, please, as I have booked to go in February.




Cheers!
Di

Hi again Di!

If you suffer from motion sickness, travel-wise, a top tip from me is to wear "sea bands". You wear them on your wrists with a button that is positioned on your pressure point. I wore them all the time on the bus journeys in Tibet (I wear them flying as well) and I was fine with the "windy roads". You should be able to get them no trouble at the chemist. This way you won't have to worry about extra medication.

Enjoy!

Hils
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