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Trip Report La Paz and Diamox

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I just returned from La Paz and made the mistake of caring about all the negative posts that are out there. In our flight (American Airlines, from Miami), not a single passenger needed oxygen at arrival. I only saw a person with altitude sickness (out of hundreds that arrived that day). Because of panicking with all the negative posts out there, I called my doctor before the trip and asked for Diamox. He prescribed 4 x 250mg a day, that I considered too excessive. So, this is what I did:

1) I took one 250mg Diamox pill a day, two days before flying, this was to make sure that I had no reactions to the medicine.

2) I took one pill at arrival and two extras during the day, for precautions.

3) I took plenty of water (more than 3L a day) and refrained from alcohol and exercise on the first two days.

4) I walked slow on day 1, on day 2, I was feeling full of energy again

5) I had headache in the first evening (14 hours after arrival) but took 2 Ibuprofen pills and slept like a baby

6) I eat light on the first two days

So, I has no issues, the tingles in the hand because of the medication was not bothering, the urge to urinate was to strong enough, so I could carry on.

Previously, I had a severe AMS in Cuzco but in that occasion, I never stopped since arrival, had wine with meals, and even went to a disco. So, I know what the difference is.

It is worth nothing that nobody else was taking Diamox and was just fine. It is important to no stay at El Alto but sleep lower in the city, like Calacoto, at least for the first two nights.

I am not a climber, a trekker or well fit. A colleague of mine, fitter, born in Quito, Ecuador, had trouble at El Alto on day 1, he got tired easily, but as soon as we went back to the city, was swimming at the hotel pool!,

Also, I found the coca tea to be more of a digestive and a very mild remedy, do not rely too much on that, if you are concerned, check with your doctor, but if you take it easy on the first two days, you will feel like running on day three. Do not care much about negative posts that you see on the Internet, thousands of tourists go to La Paz and Cuzco every month and just a small percentage had something serious (as matter of fact, the only time I saw a person in a stretcher, with oxygen, was at immigration at Miami airport!!!

So, take your usual precautions and enjoy!!,

Have a safe trip

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