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How I prevented altitude illness on Mt. Kilimanjaro

Posted by Stuart Rose on

HOW I PREVENTED ALTITUDE ILLNESS ON MT. KILIMANJARO

Dr. Stuart Rose at KilimanjaroI did the 5-day Marangu route up Kilimanjaro in December 2012. It’s 3 days of ascent and 2 days going down, so there’s absolutely no chance to acclimatize.

This was the second time I’ve done this route.

What to do: My best advice is to take a combination of acetazolamide (Diamox) and

dexamethasone (Decadron) a steroid, plus use a salmetrol inhaler (Brand name Serevent Diskus).

  • Acetazolamide: 250 mg twice daily. Start 1 day before ascent.

  • Dexamethasone: 8 mg orally at bedtime. Start first night above 5,000 ft.

  • Serevent: 1 inhalations twice daily. Start first night above 5,000 ft.

  • Last doses of all meds taken at the Horombo Hut on descent at 12,500 ft.

  • Dexamethasone & Serevent also have a role in preventing High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE).

My main symptom on this trip was loss of appetite. I had no medication side effects.


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