Crouse Health Online: Wellness is just a click away.
Share Share
  |  Connect with Us: 
large
med
small
Text Size
 

Health News



Ibuprofen May Ward Off Altitude Sickness

Ibuprofen May Ward Off Altitude Sickness

03/20/12

TUESDAY, March 20 (HealthDay News) -- The anti-inflammatory and painkiller ibuprofen seems to reduce the risk of altitude sickness, according to a new study.

Headache, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, vomiting and poor appetite are among the symptoms of altitude sickness, which affects more than 25 percent of Americans who travel to high elevations each year to ski, hike or camp.

If unrecognized or untreated, altitude sickness can lead to high-altitude cerebral edema, a potentially fatal swelling of the brain.

The Stanford University study, which included 58 men and 28 women, was conducted in California's White Mountains. The participants spent the first night at 4,100 feet altitude. The following morning, they were given either 600 milligrams of ibuprofen or a placebo before hiking up the mountain to a staging area at 11,700 feet. After receiving a second dose at 2 p.m., the participants continued their hike to 12,570 feet, where they received a third dose at 8 p.m. before spending the night on the mountain.

Symptoms of altitude sickness developed in 19 participants who received ibuprofen (43 percent) and 29 of those who received the placebo (69 percent), indicating ibuprofen reduced the incidence of altitude sickness by 26 percent.

Among the participants who developed altitude sickness, those who took ibuprofen had less severe symptoms than those who took the placebo, though it was not statistically significant.

The study appears online March 20 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

"Ibuprofen could be a way to prevent [altitude sickness] in a significant number of the tens of millions of people who travel to high altitudes each year," lead author Dr. Grant Lipman, an emergency-medicine physician at Stanford Hospital & Clinics and a clinical assistant professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, Calif., said in a university news release.

Ibuprofen is a widely available over-the-counter drug that is safer and causes fewer side effects than two medications (acetazolamide and dexamethasone) currently used to prevent altitude sickness, the researchers noted.

More information

There is more about altitude sickness at altitude.org.

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

OF INTEREST:
 

Latest News

Crouse Hospital Appoints Chief Information Officer
more >

MedEx Bedside Prescription Delivery Service

Free service offers convenience, patient education at discharge.
more >

CrouseSports Express After-Hours Ortho Care

Immediate care of orthopedic injuries in kids and adults.
more >

Weight Loss Surgery

Is it right for you? Attend a free information seminar held twice monthly.
more >

Quality at Crouse

See how Crouse Hospital strives to provide the best in patient care.
more >

Cheer Up That Special Someone

Say get well or welcome a new arrival with a gift purchased right at Crouse.

more >

Make an Online Donation Now

Your donation of any amount helps support Crouse services & programs in a meaningful way.
more >

Shop Online Now

Say get well, thinking of you or welcome new baby with a unique gift from the Crouse Gift Shop.

more >