How does the medication work?


25 May 2023

When taken preventively, acetazolamide (generic Diamox) hastens acclimatization to high-elevation hypoxia, thereby reducing occurrence and severity of altitude sickness, also known as Acute Mountain Sickness or AMS. It also enhances recovery if taken after symptoms have developed. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the medication works primarily by inducing a bicarbonate diuresis and metabolic acidosis, which stimulates ventilation and increases alveolar and arterial oxygenation. By using acetazolamide (generic Diamox), high-elevation ventilatory acclimatization that normally takes 3–5 days takes only 1 day. This medication also eliminates central sleep apnea, or periodic breathing, which is common at high elevations, even in those without a history of sleep disorder breathing.

    Start your online visit

    Runway offers travelers like you, the medications you may need before you go.