What Is The Best Supplement For Altitude Sickness

Are you planning a trip to high altitude environments? Perhaps you’re going on a hike in the Rockies or climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. While these adventures can be thrilling, they can also come with some serious risks. One of those risks is altitude sickness, which occurs when your body struggles to adapt to changes in air pressure and oxygen levels at higher elevations. Altitude sickness can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, and other uncomfortable symptoms that could put a damper on your adventure.

But don’t let altitude sickness ruin your plans! There are supplements available that may help prevent or alleviate the symptoms of this condition. In this article, we’ll explore the best supplements for altitude sickness so you can make an informed decision before embarking on your next high-altitude journey. From natural remedies like Gingko Biloba and Rhodiola Rosea to prescription medications like Acetazolamide and Dexamethasone, we’ll give you all the information you need to choose the supplement that’s right for you.

Understanding Altitude Sickness

Feeling unwell at high elevations is a common occurrence that can affect anyone, regardless of their physical fitness level. Altitude sickness occurs when your body struggles to adapt to the low oxygen levels found at higher altitudes. Symptoms and prevention techniques vary depending on the severity of the illness.

Symptoms of altitude sickness include headache, nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath and fatigue. In severe cases, it can lead to difficulty walking or even death. The best way to prevent altitude sickness is through acclimatization techniques such as gradual ascents, hydration, avoiding alcohol and caffeine consumption and taking rest breaks during hikes.

Acclimatization is the process by which your body adjusts to lower oxygen levels over time. To acclimate properly, you should increase your elevation slowly and spend several days at each new altitude before moving up further. This allows your body to adjust gradually while minimizing symptoms of altitude sickness. By following these simple steps, you can enjoy mountain adventures without worrying about altitude sickness!

Gingko Biloba

If you’re looking to boost your body’s natural adaptation to high altitudes, Gingko Biloba might be the way to go. This herbal supplement has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine and is known for its ability to improve blood flow and circulation. When taken at high altitudes, Gingko Biloba can help reduce symptoms of altitude sickness by increasing oxygen delivery to the brain and other organs.

One of the benefits of Gingko Biloba is that it can help alleviate common symptoms of altitude sickness such as headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. It works by improving blood flow throughout the body which can help reduce inflammation and swelling in the brain caused by high elevations. Additionally, this herbal supplement has been shown to improve mental clarity and memory which can be especially useful when adjusting to new environments at higher elevations.

When taking Gingko Biloba for altitude sickness, it’s important to follow a proper dosage plan. The recommended daily dose is typically 120-240mg per day but should be discussed with a healthcare professional before use. It’s also important to note that while this supplement can be helpful in reducing symptoms of altitude sickness, it should not replace necessary medical treatment or precautions such as gradual acclimatization or supplemental oxygen when necessary.

Rhodiola Rosea

Looking for a natural way to improve your body’s ability to adapt to high elevations? Rhodiola Rosea might be just what you need. This herb has been used for centuries by mountain climbers and other adventurers who venture into higher altitudes. Rhodiola rosea benefits include its ability to increase oxygen uptake, reduce fatigue, and boost physical performance.

Rhodiola Rosea is an adaptogen that helps the body adapt to stress, including the stress of high altitude. It contains compounds known as rosavins and salidrosides that have been shown to improve mental clarity and focus while reducing fatigue. The recommended rhodiola rosea dosage is typically 100-600mg per day, taken in divided doses with meals.

In addition to its benefits for altitude sickness, rhodiola rosea has also been shown to have antioxidant properties and may help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. However, it’s important to note that like any supplement or medication, rhodiola rosea may not be suitable for everyone. Always talk to your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement or making changes to your current regimen.


Acetazolamide is a medication that can help alleviate the symptoms of being at high altitudes. It works by reducing the amount of fluid in your body, which can decrease swelling and pressure in your head. This medication is often used to prevent altitude sickness, especially for those who are going on a trip where they will be rapidly ascending to high altitudes.

The recommended acetazolamide dosage for preventing altitude sickness is typically 125-250 mg twice daily, starting one to two days before you plan to ascend and continuing for at least two days after reaching your highest elevation. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor first as they may recommend a different dosage based on your individual needs and health history.

While acetazolamide can be effective in preventing altitude sickness, it does come with potential side effects such as tingling or numbness in the fingers and toes, increased urination, nausea, and dizziness. If you experience any severe side effects or allergic reactions such as difficulty breathing or swelling of the face, seek medical attention immediately.

Overall, if you’re planning on traveling to high altitudes and are concerned about developing altitude sickness, acetazolamide may be an option worth considering. Just remember to speak with your doctor beforehand about proper dosing and any potential risks or side effects associated with this medication.


Ibuprofen can be a helpful medication for alleviating the symptoms of headaches and body aches that may come with traveling to high altitudes, but it’s important to talk to your doctor about proper dosing and any potential risks. It is recommended to take ibuprofen only when necessary, as overuse can lead to stomach ulcers or other side effects. The typical dosage for adults is 200-400mg every four to six hours, not exceeding 1200mg in a day.

Some common side effects of ibuprofen include upset stomach, heartburn, drowsiness, and dizziness. More serious side effects such as allergic reactions and liver damage are rare but possible. It is important to discuss any pre-existing medical conditions or medications you may be taking with your doctor before taking ibuprofen for altitude sickness.

While ibuprofen can provide relief from altitude sickness symptoms such as headaches and body aches, it should not be used as the sole treatment for higher altitude illnesses such as acute mountain sickness or high-altitude cerebral edema. It is always best to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any medication while traveling at high altitudes.


Now, while ibuprofen can help alleviate some of the symptoms of altitude sickness, it may not be enough for more severe cases. This is where dexamethasone comes into play.

Dexamethasone is a steroid that works by reducing inflammation in the body and suppressing the immune system. It has been shown to be effective in treating high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) and high altitude cerebral edema (HACE), two potentially life-threatening conditions that can occur at high altitudes.

However, like with any medication, there are benefits and risks to taking dexamethasone. Some possible benefits include rapid improvement of symptoms and prevention of further complications. However, there are also potential risks such as increased blood pressure, fluid retention, and suppression of the immune system. It is important to speak with a doctor before taking dexamethasone and follow their dosage recommendations closely to minimize these risks.

Oxygen Therapy

If you’re feeling the effects of being at high altitudes, oxygen therapy could be a helpful option to explore. Oxygen therapy is a common treatment for altitude sickness, as it helps increase the amount of oxygen in your blood and can alleviate symptoms such as headaches, nausea, and shortness of breath. There are two main types of oxygen therapy: oxygen concentrators and portable oxygen tanks.

Oxygen concentrators are devices that separate oxygen from room air and deliver it through a nasal cannula or face mask. They are typically used in hospitals or clinics but can also be rented for home use. Portable oxygen tanks, on the other hand, are smaller containers that store compressed oxygen and can be carried around by the user. These tanks are more convenient for those who need to move around frequently while receiving treatment.

It’s important to note that while oxygen therapy can provide relief from altitude sickness symptoms, it does not treat the underlying cause of the condition – lack of acclimatization to high altitudes. Therefore, it’s still recommended to take measures such as gradual ascent and staying hydrated to prevent altitude sickness altogether. If you do experience symptoms despite these precautions, however, consider reaching out to a healthcare provider about whether oxygen therapy may be right for you.

Consult Your Physician

Before embarking on a high-altitude trip, it’s crucial to consult with your physician to ensure that you are physically fit and able to handle the demands of the journey. Consulting with your physician provides numerous benefits such as getting a proper assessment of your health status, receiving necessary vaccinations, and obtaining medication for altitude sickness if needed. Your doctor can also provide advice on how to prepare for the trip and what precautions to take while at high altitudes.

Self-medicating for altitude sickness can be risky and ineffective. Some people may assume that taking over-the-counter medication or supplements will help alleviate their symptoms, but this is not always the case. In fact, certain medications can worsen altitude sickness symptoms or cause adverse side effects. Additionally, self-medication does not address underlying conditions that could affect your ability to acclimate properly at high altitudes.

In conclusion, consulting with your physician before embarking on a high-altitude trip is essential for ensuring your safety and well-being. Your doctor can provide valuable insight into how your body may react at higher elevations and recommend appropriate medications if necessary. Avoid risking harm by self-medicating and trust in the expertise of medical professionals when preparing for a high-altitude journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any natural remedies for altitude sickness besides Gingko Biloba and Rhodiola Rosea?

Looking for natural alternatives to combat altitude sickness? There are several options beyond gingko biloba and rhodiola rosea. One effective remedy is garlic, which can help increase blood flow and lower blood pressure in the body. Another option is coca tea, made from the leaves of the coca plant. The tea contains alkaloids that can help alleviate altitude sickness symptoms like headaches and nausea. Finally, staying hydrated with water or electrolyte-rich drinks can also be helpful in reducing symptoms. While these natural remedies may not work for everyone, they are worth considering as an alternative to traditional medication.

What are the potential side effects of using Acetazolamide for altitude sickness?

If you’re considering using acetazolamide to alleviate symptoms of altitude sickness, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks. Despite its effectiveness in reducing symptoms such as headaches, nausea and fatigue, acetazolamide can cause side effects such as dizziness, loss of appetite and increased urination. In rare cases, it may also lead to more severe reactions such as allergic reactions or liver damage. To minimize these risks, it’s recommended that you consult with a doctor before taking acetazolamide and only use it under medical supervision. If you’re looking for alternative options to treat altitude sickness, there are natural remedies like ginger or peppermint tea that may help alleviate symptoms without the risk of side effects associated with medication.

Can Ibuprofen be used to prevent altitude sickness or is it only effective for treating symptoms?

If you’re wondering if ibuprofen can prevent altitude sickness, the answer is no. Ibuprofen is typically used for treating symptoms such as headaches or body aches that may occur due to altitude sickness. However, there are alternative remedies that have been suggested to prevent altitude sickness such as drinking plenty of water, acclimating gradually to higher elevations, and taking medications like acetazolamide. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any medication or supplement for altitude sickness prevention or treatment. While ibuprofen may provide relief from certain symptoms associated with altitude sickness, it should not be solely relied upon for preventing this condition.

How quickly does Dexamethasone work to alleviate symptoms of altitude sickness?

If you are looking for an effective medication to alleviate symptoms of altitude sickness, dexamethasone is a popular option. It is a steroid that works by reducing inflammation and swelling in the body. Compared to other medications such as ibuprofen and acetazolamide, dexamethasone has been found to be more effective in treating severe cases of altitude sickness. However, it’s important to note that dexamethasone should not be used as a substitute for acclimatization or proper precautions when traveling at high altitudes. Alternative medications such as acetazolamide may still be recommended for those who experience mild symptoms or want to prevent altitude sickness altogether. Consult with your healthcare provider before taking any medication for altitude sickness.

Is there a specific dosage of oxygen therapy that is recommended for treating altitude sickness?

When it comes to treating altitude sickness with oxygen therapy, the recommended dosage varies depending on the severity of the symptoms. In general, a flow rate of 2-4 liters per minute is typically used for mild to moderate cases, while more severe cases may require higher flow rates up to 10 liters per minute. While oxygen therapy can be effective in alleviating symptoms such as headaches and shortness of breath, it has its limitations in treating altitude sickness. It does not address the root cause of the condition, which is a lack of acclimatization to high altitude environments. Additionally, if not administered properly or if there are underlying medical conditions present, oxygen therapy may not be effective in alleviating symptoms. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before beginning any treatment for altitude sickness.


Congratulations! You’ve reached the end of this informative article on the best supplements for altitude sickness. Now that you’re armed with knowledge about Gingko Biloba, Rhodiola Rosea, Acetazolamide, Ibuprofen, Dexamethasone, and Oxygen Therapy, you can make an informed decision when planning your next high-altitude adventure.

But wait! Before you rush out to buy any of these supplements or medications, remember to consult with your physician first. They can provide expert advice on which options are best suited for you based on your medical history and current health status.

So go ahead and explore those mountain peaks or take that dream trip to Machu Picchu without fear of altitude sickness. With proper preparation and guidance from a healthcare provider, you can conquer any height with confidence. Remember: safety first!

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