The Effects of Propranolol on Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) and Well- Being at 4300 Meters Altitude
ARMY RESEARCH INST OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE NATICK MA
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A number of physiological responses and adjustments occur at high altitude to compensate for the hypoxia. We hypothesized that interference with one component of the normal compensatory process, the sympathetic nervous system, would hinder altitude acclimatization and thereby exacerbate acute mountain sickness AMS and compromise well-being. Twelve young males received either 80 mg propranolol PRO or placebo PLA at sea level SL and during the first 15 days of a 19-day residence at 4300 m HA. Individuals were randomly assigned to each group. The Environmental Symptoms Questionnaire ESQ was administered at SL and twice daily AM and PM during the entire altitude exposure to assess AMS symptoms and subjective feelings of well-being. Throughout the entire altitude exposure, ESQ scores for the PRO group were lower than or similar to the PLA group. Furthermore, cessation of PRO treatment did not result in a change in well-being. These findings suggested that interference with the normal acclimatization process by beta-adrenergic blockade did not exacerbate AMS or reduce feelings of well-being.
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Stress Physiology