A drug normally used to treat altitude sickness can also be used to treat symptoms of COVID-19.


Unconfirmed. There is no known treatment for COVID-19 yet.


The YouTube video claims that coronavirus and high-altitude sickness, more technically known as high altitude pulmonary edema, display alarmingly similar symptoms. Given this, it argues that acetazolamide, the drug used in relieving altitude sickness symptoms, should be recommended for patients with COVID-19 symptoms.

The drug, commercially known as Diamox, improves oxygenation and pulmonary gas exchange in the lungs. In doing so, it relieves symptoms such as shortness of breath and fluid build-up – indicators synonymous with coronavirus. The video argues this is a far more effective way of treating coronavirus than a ventilator, which in fact only exacerbates the problem.

While it is proven that acetazolamide is extremely effective in relieving symptoms of high-altitude sickness, it is not proven that the drug would help relieve COVID-19 symptoms. With that said, there are calls within scientific and clinical circles for such research to be undertaken.


US National Library of Medicine, ‘Acetazolamide, Nifedipine and Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors: Rationale for Their Utilization as Adjunctive Countermeasures in the Treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019’

Origins of Claim


‘The drug acetazolamide treats fluid build-up in the body’s organs, and I was shocked because it really targets the areas where there is common fluid build-up including glaucoma, the brain and specifically it targets the lungs to treat altitude sickness. So, I was thinking, does anybody know about this? So, I googled all the key terms and every combination came up blank…

‘I spoke to one person who’d had symptoms of the coronavirus and other respiratory issues along with it. She was taking Diamox and never got bad enough to go into the hospital and said, ‘now that I think about it, I think the Diamox helped me.’ I kept doing more research on Diamox and found out it is in a class called a carbonic anhydrous inhibitor. What it does is improve the oxygenation and pulmonary gas exchange in your lungs.

‘That is why the ventilators aren’t working because it is trying to force the air through. It doesn’t need to be forced through because they are breathing and talking on their own so what is the ventilator going to do? The ventilators are making it worse. We need to go at it with a different angle and if mountain sickness is the way we have to go at this, who cares?’