DDRC Healthcare, Plymouth, Devon

Emergencies & Hyperbaric Referrals
contact DDRC immediately on +44 (0)1752 209999(24 hrs)
Book A Medical with DDRC

Over the Counter Drugs


There are many medications that have now been approved to be issued direct to the public by the chemist.  Each of these drugs may or may not be advisable to take when you dive.

If you have symptoms after diving about which you are unsure - contact DDRC Healthcare urgently on 01752 209999.

If you have a new or different medical problem then you should consult your GP and establish an underlying diagnosis before diving. If you are diagnosed with a new medical problem then there may be some information on the common medical questions page. If it is a self-limiting illness, such as a cold/flu, you should return to diving when you feel well again and not before due to risk of barotrauma.

If you have a new medical problem that you are unsure if you are safe to dive with then please contact us at plymdocs@ddrc.org for non-urgent medical advice. Please note this is an e-mail box which is not constantly monitored. We will get back to you as soon as possible depending on clinical workload.

Some medication are worth mentioning specifically.

Decongestants (e.g. xylometazoline nasal spray, pseudoephedrine)

These are commonly used in colds and flu to help unblock your nose. They can help with ear clearing and are sometimes used by divers for this purpose. If you are unable to equalise your ears at surface without medication you should not be diving.  Decongestants may cause a short-lived improvement which may wear off at depth and cause “reverse block”  barotrauma.

There is a theoretical risk that decongestants such as pseudoephedrine can lower the body's threshold for undergoing a seizure and this must also be borne in mind.

Sea sickness tablets

If you need to take a sea sickness remedy for boat dives then unless these cause drowsiness it is safe to dive after taking these.

Hayfever tablets

Unless these cause drowsiness then it is safe to dive whilst taking hayfever medication. If your hayfever causes you to wheeze, you should not dive until this has settled.



DDRC Connected

Contact Us


DDRC Tweets

© 2017 DDRC Healthcare. All Rights Reserved | Accessibility Statement | Cookie Policy | Terms and Conditions