DDRC Healthcare, Plymouth, Devon

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Prescription drugs

ANTICOAGULANTS (Blood thinning drugs)

These are used for a variety of conditions including:

  • After a cardiac stent or heart valve replacement
  • Following a stroke or mini-stroke
  • Atrial Fibrillation or Flutter (irregular heart rhythm)
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) or Pulmonary Embolus (PE))
  • Anti-coagulants are not all the same and each group of drugs is slightly different in the way they work. Some are considered safe to dive with but others are not.

Anti-coagulants can put you at greater risk of serious consequences should you suffer barotrauma (pressure injury) or Decompression Illness (DCI). This is because during such an injury, the amount of bleeding is increased and more damage could occur to the tissues.

Also, your overall level of fitness must be taken into account if you have any of the conditions above.

If you want to go diving on these medications you need to discuss your medical condition and the medication with a doctor specialising in diving medicine. Please complete our fitness to dive form found here.



We usually suggest divers take Malarone. You will have to check that this works in the area you are planning to travel to.

We also recommend starting Malarone 1 week (rather than 2 days) before your trip to ensure you do not suffer any side effects from the medication. Doxycycline would be an alternative providing it gives you adequate protection in the area you are travelling to but you must be careful to avoid sun exposure.

Larium is the anti-malarial to avoid whilst diving.

You can’t get these drugs over the counter so see your GP or go to a travel clinic to ensure you are fully vaccinated, up to date with your immunisations and that the medication will cover you in your area of travel. We also advise buying your medications from a known reliable source such as a UK based pharmacy since the medications will be of a known, quality and standard.


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