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Altitude Sickness

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Acetazolamide

Acetazolamide is a prescription medication used in the treatment of altitude sickness. Altitude sickness occurs when travelling at high altitudes which may cause symptoms such as breathing difficulties, headache, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, tiredness, loss of appetite, and shortness of breath. This medicine is used to prevent or reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness.


Acetazolamide is available on prescription and you can buy it safely online at Doctor 4 U by completing a medical questionnaire to ensure you're suitable for this medication.



Prices start from £45.99 for 112 tablets



Last Patient Information Leaflet Review: 07/04/2020



Acetazolamide Patient Information Leaflet

£ 45.99 InStock
Please note a final decision on a suitable medicine for your condition will be made by our prescriber once you have completed a consultation PLEASE CLICK HERE TO ANSWER SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR SYMPTOMS
Please note all the answers are reviewed by a doctor to assess eligibility
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Please use a minimum of 1 words.

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  • You should still adhere to proper acclimatisation guidelines, and that acetazolamide isn't a repalcement for this
  • You may still experience altitude sickness even whilst taking acetazolamide, and you could still be at risk of HACE and HAPE
  • Acetazolamide may not be necessary where proper acclimatisation guidelines are followed
  • You shouldn't climb more than 500 metres per day If you experience symptoms of altitude sickness, you should rest where you are until you feel better
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  • If you suffer with sleep disturbance as a result of the high altitude, this should be treated with HALF a tablet (125mg) TWICE daily
  • If you experience mild acute mountain sickness (headache, fatigue, dizziness and loss of appetite), you should take ONE tablet (250mg) TWICE daily
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Using medicines off-label means that a treatment is being prescribed for a condition that it isn't licenced for. Acetazolamide is licenced to treat glaucoma and epilepsy, but it's also commonly prescribed for altitude sickness. For more information about off-label prescribing, please click here 

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  • Any type of glaucoma
  • Low blood levels of sodium or potassium
  • High blood levels of chlorine
  • Addison's disease
  • Any lung or bronchial problems
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  • Aspirin
  • Lithium
  • Valproate
  • Zonisamide
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Please use a minimum of 1 words.

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  • You have an allergy to acetazolamide or other suphonamide drugs
  • You've used this treatment in the past and suffered with serious side effects
  • You're already using a treatment that contains acetazolamide to treat a condition other than altitude sickness
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Dr. Daniel Cichi GMC No. 6163403

Dr Daniel Cichi has 20 years experience as a doctor and now he is a senior GP. He worked in A&E departments, GP surgeries and on cruise ships.

Shamir Patel GPHC No. 2049338

Shamir is a well-respected pharmacist with extensive experience running online pharmacies in the UK.

What is acetazolamide?

Acetazolamide belongs to a group of medicines known as carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, and is used in the treatment of glaucoma, epilepsy, abnormal retention of fluids, as well as preventing and treating altitude sickness. For the latter, a doctor would need to prescribe this ‘off-label’ as it’s not licensed in the UK for this purpose but GPs may prescribe it for this in some cases. Acetazolamide is available in the UK by prescription and you should speak to a GP before taking this medication to determine your suitability.

How does acetazolamide work?

Acetazolamide helps the body acclimatize to high altitudes to prevent and reduce the symptoms that occur when the body is trying to adapt to lower oxygen levels. It can take a while for the body to fully acclimatize to high altitudes and this medicine works to speed up acclimatisation. Acetazolamide is also a diuretic and helps with fluid retention and glaucoma which is an eye condition that can damage the optic nerve which may be caused by an increase in pressure inside the eye. It does this by decreasing the amount of fluid that builds up in the eye.

Who is suitable to take acetazolamide?

If you’re travelling at high altitudes you may be suitable to take acetazolamide to prevent sickness, however, this should not replace gradually acclimatising to these high altitudes by ascending slowly and allowing time to acclimatise to each height. You also may be suitable for this medicine if you have glaucoma, epilepsy, or fluid retention.

Who is not suitable for acetazolamide?

This medication may not be suitable for some people for a number of reasons, usually because of interactions with other medications or health conditions. You should consult with our online doctors before being prescribed this medication to determine your suitability. People who have certain health conditions or are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant may not be suitable to take acetazolamide.

Acetazolamide and pregnancy

If you are pregnant, think you may be pregnant, or planning to become pregnant you should not take this medicine. Acetazolamide has not been deemed safe to take in pregnancy and therefore this medicine should be avoided. You may be able to take acetazolamide if you’re breastfeeding but only if your doctor has advised this and deemed it safe, always follow your doctor’s advice.

Acetazolamide and health conditions

This medication is not suitable for people with certain health conditions as it may worsen these conditions or put you at risk of developing complications. Always ask a doctor if acetazolamide is suitable to take if you have other health conditions. This medicine may not be suitable for those with severe liver or kidney problems, you may also not be suitable if you have kidney stones. You should speak to a doctor before taking acetazolamide if you have any of the following medical conditions:

  • Reduced function of the adrenal glands
  • Low blood levels of sodium, potassium, or high blood levels of chlorine
  • Lung problems such as chronic bronchitis or emphysema
  • Chronic non congestive angle closure glaucoma - a specific type of glaucoma
  • An allergy to sulphonamides, sulphonamide derivatives including acetazolamide, or any other ingredient in this medicine

It’s important that if you’re aware of an allergy to this medicine that you avoid taking it as allergic reactions can be severe and life threatening. If you’re unaware of an allergy and you experience a reaction you should seek medical help immediately.

Acetazolamide and other medication

When starting a new medication you should always check that it is safe to take with other medicines that you may be currently taking to avoid side effects and interaction between the drugs. There are some medicines which may interact with acetazolamide and these include:

  • Cardiac glycosides, for example, digoxin
  • Medicines to reduce blood pressure
  • Blood thinning medicines (warfarin)
  • Medicines to lower blood sugar (Metformin)
  • Medicines for epilepsy or fits
  • Steroids such as prednisolone
  • Aspirin or salicylic acid or choline salicylate
  • Other carbonic anhydrase inhibitors
  • Drugs which interfere with folic acid, eg methotrexate, pyrimethamine, or trimethoprim
  • Amphetamines, quinidine, methenamine, lithium
  • Sodium bicarbonate therapy
  • Ciclosporin

What are the side effects of acetazolamide?

As with any medication there are side effects of acetazolamide, some are more common than others and a lot of people do not experience any side effects at all. If you do experience any of the following side effects while taking this medicine you should stop taking it and consult your GP as soon as you can to discuss alternative treatment.

Common side effects

Side effects which have been reported in more people include:

  • Headache
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of appetite, thirst, or metallic taste in the mouth
  • Dizziness, loss of full control of arms or legs
  • Feeling flushed
  • Urge to pass urine more frequently than usual
  • Tiredness or irritability
  • Feeling over-excited
  • Tingling or numbness in the fingers or toes, or coldness in the extremities

Uncommon/rare side effects

In rare cases the following side effects may occur:

  • Depression
  • Drowsiness or confusion
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Difficulty hearing or ringing in the ears
  • Temporary short-sightedness
  • Skin rash
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • May affect the amount of potassium or sodium in your blood

In very rare cases, acetazolamide may affect the liver and kidneys, and the cells in your blood. This is very rare but if you are showing signs of liver or kidney problems such as difficulty passing urine and pain in your lower back, or symptoms such as fever, sore throat, bruising or rash which may be a sign that the cells in your blood have been affected, you should speak to a doctor immediately.

How to take acetazolamide

Always follow a doctor’s instructions when taking this medication. Acetazolamide comes in tablet form which is swallowed whole with water. The dose will depend on what you have been prescribed this medicine for and the severity of your condition. For glaucoma this may be 1-4 tablets to be taken every 24 hours, in divided doses. Although acetazolamide isn’t licensed for altitude sickness in the UK, GPs can still prescribe it if necessary and they may advise to begin taking this medicine a couple of days before your trip.

How effective is acetazolamide at preventing or treating altitude sickness?

Although gradual ascent is the most effective way of preventing altitude sickness, acetazolamide is the most effective medicine if preventative medication is necessary. Acetazolamide not only prevents altitude sickness it also treats rather than masks the symptoms.

How to buy acetazolamide online

You can buy acetazolamide safely online at Doctor-4-U. We have GMC (General Medical Council) registered doctors on hand who make buying medication online safe, convenient, and fast. You can order your prescription medication from the comfort of your home by submitting a medical consultation form and relevant details which are reviewed by our online doctors to determine your suitability. Once you have been deemed suitable to take this particular medication it will be dispensed by our UK-based pharmacy and sent to you via a tracked courier service.

How is my order shipped to me?

When an order is ready for shipping, it is collected and delivered by either the Royal Mail or DPD depending on your preference (or possibly your location or the item you ordered). Each order is assigned a tracking number, which will be emailed to you at the time of dispatch. Your medicine will be sent in plain and discreet packaging that’s eco-friendly. We do not include any branding on our packaging nor any labels which inform readers what type of product is contained within.

Advice on Addiction and Medication Restrictions

If you are at all worried or concerned about an addiction to any type of medication, we urge you to speak to a professional for help and advice. Below are links to organisations that can help.

  • Talk To Frank

  • NHS Help & Advice On Drug Addiction
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    Acetazolamide Dosage Quantity Cost Including Consultation
    Acetazolamide 112 tablets £45.99

    Delivery Charges

    The following delivery methods are currently available within the UK: All orders are sent in discreet, plain packaging.

    UK Standard Delivery, £1.99

    Order before 12pm to have your order delivered using Royal Mail Tracked 48 Service

    standard UK delivery within 3-5 working days

    Additional terms and conditions apply.

    UK Express Delivery, £2.99

    Order before 12pm to have your order delivered using the Express delivery service* (deliveries are made Monday - Saturday)

    If you order after 12pm, your order will be dispatched the next working day and will be with you within 48 hours once dispatched. This excludes weekends and bank holidays

    Additional terms and conditions apply.

    Royal Mail Special Delivery Next Day Anytime, £4.99 (This service includes Saturday)

    Order before 12pm to have your order delivered using Royal Mail Special Delivery Service, which includes Saturday deliveries.

    Additional terms and conditions apply.

    Royal Mail Special Delivery Next Day Before 1pm, £7.99 (This service includes Saturday)

    Order before 12pm to have your order delivered before 1pm next day using Royal Mail Special Delivery service, this also includes Saturday deliveries.

    Additional terms and conditions apply.

    Royal Mail Special Delivery Next Day Before 9am, £14.99 (This service includes Saturday)

    Order before 12pm to have your order delivered before 9am next day using Royal Mail Special Delivery service, this also includes Saturday deliveries.

    Additional terms and conditions apply.

    DPD Next Day Delivery, £4.99 (Monday - Friday only. This service does not include Saturday)

    Orders signed by the doctor before 12 noon the day before will be delivered the following working day

    If your order is signed by the doctor after 12 noon, your order will be delivered within 2 working days

    Additional terms and conditions apply.

    DPD Next Day Delivery, by 12 Noon, £9.99 (Monday - Friday only. This service does not include Saturday)

    Orders signed by the doctor before 12 noon the day before will be delivered by 12 noon the following working day

    If your order is signed by the doctor after 12 noon, your order will be delivered within 2 working days

    Additional terms and conditions apply.

    DPD Next Day Delivery, by 10:30am, £14.99  (Monday - Friday only. This service does not include Saturday)

    Orders signed by the doctor before 12 noon the day before will be delivered by 10:30am the following working day

    If your order is signed by the doctor after 12 noon, your order will be delivered within 2 working days

    Additional terms and conditions apply.

    DPD Saturday Delivery, £14.99

    Orders signed by the doctor before 12 noon the day before will be delivered the following Saturday

    If your order is signed by the doctor after 12 noon, your order will be delivered within 2 working days

    Additional terms and conditions apply

    DPD Saturday Delivery, by 12:00am, £21.99

    Orders signed by the doctor before 12 noon the day before will be delivered by 12:00am Saturday

    If your order is signed by the doctor after 12 noon, your order will be delivered within 2 working days

    Additional terms and conditions apply.

    DPD Saturday Delivery, by 10:30am, £29.99

    Orders signed by the doctor before 12 noon the day before will be delivered by 10:30am Saturday

    If your order is signed by the doctor after 12 noon, your order will be delivered within 2 working days

    Additional terms and conditions apply, please see below.

    US and outside the UK

    Unfortunately, we can't process orders from outside the UK at this time.


    Terms and Conditions

    Delivery options exclude Bank Holidays, public holidays and Sundays.All deliveries are subject to Doctor-4-u successfully receiving payment and prescription being approved by the doctor.

    All purchases require additional approval, which will involve completion of an online questionnaire and any subsequent approval.

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