Please contact our Scuba Diving Instructors by live chat or phone 1-800-34-SCUBA. We are standing by to answer any of your Scuba Diving questions.
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#6007 - 11/24/02 11:16 PM Sudafed + diving the DAN report
Mako Offline
veteran

Registered: 09/22/02
Posts: 20
Loc: Honolulu
Aloha to all,
Many people have been asking recently if it's ok to use sudafed or phedren products for congestion before diving, please read the DAN (divers alert network) report and then you can decide for yourself if it's worth diving that day

http://www.diversalertnetwork.org/medical/articles/article.asp?articleid=51

I personally wouldn't but if you do, good luck to you.
Mako

Top
#6008 - 11/25/02 11:11 AM Re: Sudafed + diving the DAN report
reefmonkey Offline
veteran

Registered: 09/18/02
Posts: 29
Loc: Houston, TX
Is there a decongestant generally recognized as "safe" to take when diving? If systemics are not, what about decongestant nose sprays and drops? What is the dive medicine field's position on those?

Top
#6009 - 11/26/02 03:26 PM Re: Sudafed + diving the DAN report
BillL Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/08/02
Posts: 455
Loc: So. California, USA
The problem with taking something for congestion is that it might mean your body is not up to 100% health wise. Diving when your not completely healthy is not a good idea. Especially when it comes to your body’s air-spaces.

Top
#6010 - 11/26/02 09:16 PM Re: Sudafed + diving the DAN report
Mako Offline
veteran

Registered: 09/22/02
Posts: 20
Loc: Honolulu
Aloha Reefmonkey,
drops and sprays are probably the least best option, as a dive professional I can't make a recommendation as to meds to take but will offer this, find something that normally works good for you, a long lasting med and be cautious, if meds run out while at depth you may get a trap-door effect (reverse block) while generally not life threatening, you could do severe damage to your ear drum or inner ear (ie oval window, anvil etc)I just don't dive if I can't clear without meds. A medical doctor may offer better recommendations but most meds are not tested under pressure so the effects are not known. 8(

Top
#6011 - 11/28/02 07:13 PM Re: Sudafed + diving the DAN report
Greg Scubaholic Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/21/02
Posts: 25
Loc: PNW
If you have an illness related congestion, you should not be diving. If you're sick, you put yourself and your buddy in danger. Although it would be best not to dive with any drugs in your system, sometimes it is nessesary. If decongestants were not available, people like me who have mild but regular congestion would not be able to get into the water. I have been diving 25 yr & used sudafed for more than 75% of my dives. The only problem I've ever had was a reverse squeeze when I took the pill to early and the effect wore off during the dive. My advise is, do not use it unless you really need to, try it on the surface first & than on a few shallow dives.
Then if all goes well, use in moderation for deeper diving.

Greg

[ 01-20-2003, 10:29 PM: Message edited by: Greg Scubaholic ]

Top
#6012 - 12/02/02 06:02 PM Re: Sudafed + diving the DAN report
BillL Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/08/02
Posts: 455
Loc: So. California, USA
The best thing to do is check with a diving doctor and take their advice.

Top
#6013 - 12/03/02 08:07 AM Re: Sudafed + diving the DAN report
reefmonkey Offline
veteran

Registered: 09/18/02
Posts: 29
Loc: Houston, TX
A lot of good information. Sounds like the best advice if you're stuffy is stay on the beach.

Top
#6014 - 12/03/02 06:16 PM Re: Sudafed + diving the DAN report
BillL Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/08/02
Posts: 455
Loc: So. California, USA
An old saying "when in doubt... don't".

Top
#6015 - 01/17/03 07:01 PM Re: Sudafed + diving the DAN report
NaCHo0.9 Offline
avid diver

Registered: 07/13/02
Posts: 7
Loc: Houston,TX
Hi to all! I'm an RN-CEN TNCC(Emergency Medicine/Trauma) and this is my take on antihistamine use during diving. First, you need to establish WHY a person needs an antihistamine. Is it because of a cold, or because of allergies? If it is because of a cold, do not take it! Do not dive, as the potential for infection, be it viral or bacterial can increase the effects of the antihistamine in your system. You have a compromised immune system, and more is going on in your body than you realize. (or are willing to admit)
If you are taking it because of allergies, only take the RECOMENDED DOSE! DO NOT DOUBLE LOAD! MORE IS NOT BETTER! IT WILL NOT LAST LONGER! The most seriouse ADVERSE REACTION (not to be confused with side effects) is a condition called SVT Supra Ventricular Tachycardia. Antihistamines affect the area of the central nervous system that directly control heart rate. The heart can suddenly go bonkers, and reach rates in excess of 250 beats per min. This is a serious condition, I have seen it many times before.The panic that a person feels in the ER is overwhelming enough, imagine if you were at 40 feet, and you felt like your heart was going to explode.(might make you feel like bolting away from your group) That is the feeling you would experience. I have severe allergies scince I moved to Houston. (thank the chemical plants for that)The best way to approach dealing with your allergies is on a daily basis, with medications prescribed by your doctor. There are many good ones out there, but if your allergies are respiratory related, and most are, the newer streriod type nose sprays are the best. You must use these for a few weeks before you will feel the effects fully. If you are still having trouble diving because of your allergies, as I sometimes do, take an extended release antihistamine the night before your dive, and the morning of, but DO NOT take more than the recommended amount at one time. You ARE asking for trouble. Please note, not many dive boats carry an automatic defibrilator when they go out.
Ultimatly, you must know yourself, and your reaction to these medicines. If you take an antihistamine in your daily routine, and KNOW that they make you feel hyper or nervous, odds are you run a higher risk of having problems using them while diving. Additionally, watch out for 'cold and sinus remedies' that have multiple medications in them. For instance, don't take an antihistamine AND something like Tylenol Cold and Sinus. You are double dosing the antihistamine. I have had to scratch dives because I just knew that my allergies were too bad that day. It's not soo bad, I just snorkle over the group and watch them. I can always dive another day, But I'll be darned if I want someone pulling me out of the water and hitting me with 30-80 joules of electro-shock in order the slow my heart. I will never forget the first person I cardioverted, she begged me in tears not to do that again. Unfortunatly, I did, three more times before she went to ICU, in third degree heart block.
Okay, I end my rare but lengthy lecture!~DIVE SAFE~

Top
#6016 - 01/18/03 11:35 AM Re: Sudafed + diving the DAN report
AChemist Offline
new diver

Registered: 01/14/03
Posts: 2
Loc: Michigan
Since my original post about clearing my ears, I visited our general practitioner (doctor). Unbeknown to me, he is an avid diver. He recommended using Afrin and Sudafed! They have long lasting formulations of both - 10 to 12 hours. Reverse blockage could occur if you dove beyond the time limit.

Afrin works great but should not be used continuously for long periods of time, as described on the package. I think the package says 2-3 days.

Top
#6017 - 01/19/03 06:05 AM Re: Sudafed + diving the DAN report
excite2scuba Offline
veteran

Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 25
Loc: Frenchtown NJ
I'm a newbie diver. I got certified in may. I remember clearly that we were told to take sud a fed or other decongestants before we dive. I remember they even told us to take them the night before diving. I myself don't, I don't want to be under any medication regardless if only a decongestant. If I have to take medication before diving I won't go.

Top
#6018 - 01/20/03 09:08 AM Re: Sudafed + diving the DAN report
BillL Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/08/02
Posts: 455
Loc: So. California, USA
We need to remember this recreational (Fun). If you have problems with equalizing or don't feel well, why dive? Being prepared mentally and physically to dive makes it the most enjoyable.

Top
#6019 - 02/14/03 12:58 AM Re: Sudafed + diving the DAN report
gqmedic Offline
veteran

Registered: 07/01/01
Posts: 22
Loc: Moreno Valley, CA. US
From time to time I experience difficulties with alergies. Be it pollen, poor air quality in So Cal, cats, grass, leaves, whatever. LIFE plugs me up. No biggie. I DO infact use sudafed and afrin and it works great for me. Dive after dive, no worries. If your not ACTUALLY "ill" and have problems equalizing due to mild congestion, these wonderful lil inventions are "johnny on the spot". So lets stop ringing the ALARM BELL already.

-Dennis

[ 02-14-2003, 12:59 AM: Message edited by: gqmedic ]

Top
#6020 - 02/16/03 02:29 PM Re: Sudafed + diving the DAN report
Craig Offline
new diver

Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 4
Loc: Baton Rouge, La
I read a recent skin diver article and it said it caused ho harm. Just don't take any congest-med that makes u sleepy.

Top
#6021 - 02/20/03 02:30 PM Re: Sudafed + diving the DAN report
bpadivers Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/19/01
Posts: 88
Loc: Roswell, NM
While I don't reccommend doing this, I will tell my story. I had problems equalizing when I was the least bit stuffy. Allergies, dust, a change in temperature. I bought a product called FLONASE or in Mexico its called BECONASE. I used one spray a day in each nostril for 2 weeks, then once every few days for another 4 weeks. I dont know if it was a good idea to follow the advice of a strange doctor I met in a 3rd world country, but I can now equalize almost by just thinking about it. I believe it actually eats away some of your mucous membrane, so like I said, I was probably stupid for doing it, but man, allergies or not, you cant stop me from feeling comfortable at any depth.

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >


Moderator:  BobG, Mel