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Drugs / medicine and their effect

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.

Have you ever experienced side effects from drugs / medicine whilst freediving?

  • Yes

    Votes: 1 12.5%
  • No

    Votes: 7 87.5%

  • Total voters


Desk Driver
Dec 6, 2001
OK, first of all, I'm talking about drugs which you can buy at a PHARMACY - not a STREET CORNER.

What I'd like to know, is what is the effect of different types of medication on your body in relation to diving.

For instance: Taking Aspirin thins blood - what effect does this have on your heart rate / O2 consumption etc etc
The same for other painkillers like paracetamol etc...

Take the poll - have you experienced drug related side effects whilst diving ??

Hi ,
alcool makes you fearless ( as in stupid ) so you may go further and do stuff that you would not do normally. I've dive drunk a couple of time and luckyly i'm still alive but not proud. :duh
If you are struggling with your sinusses and diving, the chances are good that you have popped a couple of pills before a dive to try and relief the congestion in your sinus cavities.

I have done it twice to myself by popping a coctail of Sinuclear and Sudafed on an empty stomach before a morning dive.

Let me say that seeing stars at 100ft is no fun and the hr just does not want to cooperate.

Pills suck......CARROTS RULE !!!!!!!!
The dose makes the poison


I would wager a large bet that it was your 'cocktail' of the two drugs that caused your problem rather than something inherently bad about using either Sinuclear and Sudafed alone in the recommended amounts.

I'm not a proponent of 'popping pills' for everything that ails you, but those who suffer sinus blockage and ear problems during diving can often benefit from the right type and dose of a decongestant or antihistamine, depending upon the problem. However, I would not recommend experimenting with your own combinations unless you have the pharmacological training to recognize when you are combining two very similar medications that you can expect will have a compounded effect. That's what you did with your 'cocktail.'

There have been a number of studies published in the scientific and medical literature on the effects of various medications on athletic performance. As you might expect, few if any involve freediving. It is difficult to make broad generalizations about the results of those studies, however, I would say that in general, few drugs, if used at the recommended dosage, will be dangerous to you while freediving if you stay within reasonable limits (this is not to say that an elite competitor might not notice a significant difference when pushing his limits).

Of those drugs, however, pseudoephedrine, the active ingredient in Sudafed, speeds heart rate and blood pressure by causing vasoconstriction - the same effect that helps clear the sinuses. So I would avoid Sudafed if it affects you negatively. But honestly, you can't tell how it works for you when you combine it with other drugs in your own 'cocktail'.

There are other decongestants developed specifically to avoid affecting heartrate and blood pressure. My brother now uses one of these newer decongestants every time he freedives to prevent the blockage of his eustachian tubes that he otherwise experiences. He's now diving deeper and longer thanks to pharmacological treatment of his ear problems.
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