Do you believe in a “pill for every ill”? I think I could be accused of being more than a little pro supplement and pharmaceuticals as I prepare for next month’s trip. I’ve done plenty of googling and read a copy of “Altitude Illness: Prevention and Treatment” which I’ve found to be an excellent reference (and will be in my backpack up Kili)
I know I’m probably being a little over the top in what I’m taking with me to either actively use or have as a back-up. I rationalise to myself that it can’t hurt so why not take them even though I know that in the case of supplements their intended effects are not always backed up by evidenced based science. Here’s what I’ve got:
- Altivit – a multivitamin and herb supplement designed to aid acclimatisation.
- Glucosamine – to aid cartilage production. I sometimes get knee pain so I figure I might as well try to give them a little help.
- Garlic – to aid circulation/ coronary wellness and cholesterol issues. I’ve no history of heart problems but figure that cardio vascular performance is going to be important up Kili. There’s also some tales that in Tibet that the local garlic soup helps acclimatisation.
- Diamox (Acetazolamide) as a respiratory stimulant to help acclimatisation.
- Ciprofloxacin – antibiotic useful in the treatment of diarrhoea.
- Avomine (Promethazine) – an Antiemetic in case I get nauseous due to altitude or even stomach upset.
- Imodium (loperamide hydrochlorid) – Treats diarrhoea by slowing down muscle movements in the gut so more water can be absorbed.
- Malarone (Atovaquone Proguanil) – Anti Malarial tablets.
- Ibuprofen – regular over the counter pain killers.
The UK’s National Health Service is designed to be “free at the point of use” but for a number of my medications I was expected to pay for a private prescription and pay for the drugs. I ended up sourcing the prescription only drugs online through~UK online pharmacy services www.drfox.co.uk and pharmacydirectGB. This was the first time I’d bought UK medicines online but I found it a slick experience, low cost and all the drugs came from regular UK dispensaries.
Let’s hope I’ve bought more than just a bag full of placebo effects with my supplements…