Oral zolpidem prevents acute mountain sickness: a randomized double-blind placebo controlled study

Yong-tao HUANG, Jun QIN, Xu-bin GAO, Guo-zhu CHEN, Cheng-rong ZHENG, Jie YANG, Lan HUANG
2015 Medical Journal of Chinese People's Liberation Army  
Objective To study the prophylactic effect of zolpidem on acute mountain sickness (AMS) after acute high-altitude exposure. Methods A randomized double-blind placebo controlled trial was performed on the plateau. Forty subjects were randomly divided into zolpidem group and placebo group. The general clinical data, heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) scores, AMS scores and physical fitness test of the both groups were collected and assessed on
more » ... ted and assessed on plain and plateau, respectively. Results The PSQI scores were obviously lower and the six-minute walk distance was significantly longer in zolpidem group than those in placebo group (P=0.047 and P=0.009, respectively) after acute high-altitude exposure. AMS incidence was significantly lower in zolpidem group than in placebo group at different time points (P=0.019, 0.014, 0.025 and 0.026, respectively), and the incidence of severe AMS was also significantly lower in zolpidem group than in placebo group at different time points (P=0.047, 0.044, 0.031 and 0.020, respectively). The symptoms of dizziness, weakness and fatigue were significantly lighter in zolpidem group than in placebo group after acute exposure to high-altitude exposure for 20 hours (P<0.05). No significant difference was found in the general physiological findings including, heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, physical capacity, and the power of hand grip between the 2 groups after acute high-altitude exposure (P>0.05). Conclusion Zolpidem may alleviate AMS symptoms and reduce the incidence of AMS, so it may be promising as a new choice for the prevention of AMS. DOI: 10.11855/j.issn.0577-7402.2015.09.09
doaj:c96f142603b04905b5efdea9a34533be fatcat:xjc4ef2safhkjdteq6ewwatxyu