Altitude Sickness Advice and Treatment

At Kennedy’s Pharmacy, we offer a Travel Vaccination Service which provides protection and advice from a wide range of diseases and illnesses such as Altitude Sickness, alongside malaria, hepatitis, rabies and yellow fever. We will be able to recommend what type of protection is best for you and it will be provided in either tablet form or as a vaccine.

We provide vaccine certificates for all administered vaccines including Yellow Fever. For more information and advice for specific countries and protection please contact us by phone.

Always leave sufficient time (6 - 8 weeks) before your travel plans to receive your vaccination. As always, your health and safety should be a top priority.

Making a Travel Vaccination Appointment

Booking for this service is currently made by telephoning either of our pharmacies in Rasharkin or Dunloy. 

At present Travel Vaccines are offered mainly in our Rasharkin pharmacy with our pharmacist, Cara Murdock who has completed specialist training in Travel Health.

Tel: 028 2957 1124 (Rasharkin)

You can also leave your details with the form at the bottom and Cara will be in touch to help or get started!

At your initial consultation, Cara will advise you on what you need to do in order to meet the requirements for safe travel to your particular destination, as well as General Travel Health Advice and self-care. It would also be helpful to have the following information for this appointment:

  • Personal Details
  • Country of destination plus travel itinerary
  • Duration of travel
  • Medication history
  • Vaccination history

What is Altitude Sickness?

Altitude sickness, is a condition that can occur when a person ascends to high altitudes too quickly. It typically occurs at altitudes above 2,500 metres (8,200 feet). The reduced air pressure and lower oxygen levels at higher altitudes can lead to symptoms such as headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping. In severe cases, altitude sickness can progress to more serious conditions.

If you're at a high altitude and have symptoms of altitude sickness or feel unwell:

  • tell someone who you're travelling with that you do not feel well
  • rest at the same altitude until you feel better – do not travel or climb to a higher altitude

Risk of Altitude Sickness

Symptoms of altitude sickness usually start 6 to 10 hours after being at a high altitude.

The main symptoms include:

  • a headache
  • loss of appetite
  • feeling or being sick
  • feeling tired or exhausted
  • dizziness
  • difficulty sleeping

Sometimes, the symptoms can develop into more serious symptoms that can be life-threatening.

Tips To Help Prevent Altitude Sickness

Here are some tips to help prevent altitude sickness:

  1. Gradual Ascent:

    • Ascend to higher altitudes gradually, allowing your body time to acclimatise. Avoid rapid increases in elevation.
  2. Adequate Hydration:

    • Stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Dehydration can exacerbate the symptoms of altitude sickness.
  3. Avoid Alcohol and Smoking:

    • Limit alcohol intake and avoid smoking, as they can contribute to dehydration and respiratory issues at high altitudes.
  4. Balanced Diet:

    • Maintain a balanced diet, including foods rich in carbohydrates. Avoid heavy and greasy meals, which can be harder to digest at higher elevations.
  5. Rest and Relaxation:

    • Allow yourself time to rest and acclimatise at intermediate altitudes before ascending to higher levels.
  6. Medication:

    • Consider medication, such as acetazolamide, as prescribed by a healthcare professional, to help prevent and alleviate symptoms of altitude sickness.
  7. Awareness of Symptoms:

    • Be aware of early symptoms of altitude sickness, such as headache and dizziness. If symptoms persist or worsen, descend to a lower altitude.
  8. Oxygen Enrichment:

    • In high-altitude areas, consider using supplemental oxygen if available, especially during rest or sleep.
  9. Avoid Overexertion:

    • Pace yourself and avoid overexertion. Listen to your body and rest when needed.

It is crucial to prioritise your health and take the necessary precautions by getting a consultation. Please consult with us for personalised advice and to address any specific concerns you may have.

Know the Signs of Severe Altitude Sickness

Familiarise yourself with the signs of severe altitude sickness, such as difficulty breathing, confusion, and persistent vomiting. Look out for

  1. Difficulty breathing, especially at rest.
  2. Persistent, severe headache.
  3. Confusion or altered mental state.
  4. Continual and uncontrollable vomiting.
  5. Loss of coordination.
  6. Coughing up pink or frothy sputum.
  7. Chest tightness or discomfort.
  8. Bluish or grayish skin color (cyanosis).
  9. Inability to recover with descent.

Seek medical help promptly if these symptoms occur.

Prices Per Vaccine

Prices are accurate from December 2023 but may fluctuate depending on cost prices at the time of consultation.

Vaccine

Price

Cholera

£60

Diphtheria, tetanus and polio

£35

Hepatitis A

£65

Hepatitis B

£55

Hepatitis B Paediatric

£30

Hepatitis A and B combined

£79

Japanese Encephalitis

£95

Meningococcal ACWY

£60

Rabies

£85

Tick-borne encephalitis

£65

Typhoid

£35

Yellow Fever

£70

 

Anti-Malarial Tablets Priced per Prescription for duration of trip

Frequently Asked Questions 

What can I do to help recover from Altitude Sickness?

To minimise altitude sickness symptoms, ascend gradually—avoid increasing altitude by more than 500 meters per day and include a rest day every three or four days. Stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

If you experience a headache, a common initial symptom, refrain from ascending further. Consider taking ibuprofen or paracetamol for relief. If symptoms persist after 24 hours, descend at least 500 meters until improvement.

To prevent and reduce light to moderate symptoms of altitude sickness we can provide a prescription for Acetazolamide for trips where travellers are trekking at high altitudes.

How far in advance of travel should I complete a Travel Consultation?

It is best to contact Cara as soon as possible so that we can ensure you receive the best protection whilst you are travelling allowing you to concentrate on enjoying your trip.

Is there a cost for the travel vaccination service?

There is a £35 fee for your initial consultation and any additional cost will depend on your individual situation. The pharmacist will be able to advise.

List Of Travel Vaccination Services That We Offer

Yellow Fever Vaccination
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Rabies Vaccination
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Typhoid Vaccination

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Hepatitis B Vaccination
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Hepatitis A Vaccination
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Cholera Vaccination
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DTP Vaccination
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Japanese Encephalitis
Learn More
Tick Borne Encephalitis
Learn More
Malaria Prophylaxis
Learn More
Traveller's Diarrhoea
Learn More
Altitude Sickness
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