Welcome to ScubaBoard, an online scuba diving forum community where you can join over 205,000 divers diving from around the world. If the topic is related to scuba diving, this is the place to find divers talking about it. To gain full access to ScubaBoard (and make this large box go away) you must register for a free account. As a registered member you will be able to:

  • Participate in over 500 dive topic forums and browse from over 5,500,000 posts.
  • Communicate privately with other divers from around the world.
  • Post your own photos or view from well over 100,000 user submitted images.
  • Gain access to our free classifieds marketplace to buy, sell and trade gear, travel and services.
  • Use the calendar to organize your events and enroll in other members' events.
  • Find a dive buddy or communicate directly with scuba equipment manufacturers.

All this and much more is available to you absolutely free when you register for an account, so sign up today!

NEW for 2014 Access SBlogbook for members. It allows you to directly upload data from your dive computer, validate your logs digitally, link your dives to photos, videos, dive centers (9,000 on file), fishes (14,000 on file) and much more.

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact the ScubaBoard Support Team.
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Taking cymbalta while diving

 


  1. #1
    Registered


    Has not set a "status"
     

    SteveC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    St. Louis Mo
    Posts
    605
    Dives
    200 - 499
    Photos
    24

    Taking cymbalta while diving

    My wife has been recently prescribed cymbalta for peripheral neuropathies, and is wondering if itís ok to continue diving while taking this medication.

  2. #2
    Senior Member


    Has not set a "status"
     

    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    5,399
    Hi SteveC,

    Common side effects of Cymbalta may include nausea, dry mouth, constipation, fatigue, decreased appetite, sleepiness and increased sweating. The drug should be given an adequate topside trial before diving to assess for possible adverse effects on safe SCUBA.

    The implications for SCUBA of the disease process which caused the peripheral neuropathies (e.g., diabetes), must be considered, as must any limitations imposed by the peripheral neuropathies and the possibility that these could be confused with DCI.

    Helpful?

    Happy holidays.

    DocVikingo

    This is educational only and does not constitute or imply a doctor-patient relationship. It is not medical advice to you or any other individual, and should not be construed as such.

  3. #3
    Registered


    has no status.
     

    cudachaser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Cocoa Beach, FL
    Posts
    1,940
    Dives
    I'm a Fish!
    Photos
    70
    I peripheral neuropathy and take neurotin and handle it very well. No noticable issues underwater.

    Joe
    Joe (Cudachaser)

  4. #4
    Senior Member


    Has not set a "status"
     

    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    5,399
    Hi Cudachaser,

    Neurontin was originally developed to treat epilepsy; Cymbalta was originally developed to treat depression. The effects of these drugs on peripheral neuropathies were discovered later. They are entirely unlike chemically (*See below).

    Moreover, neither you nor the original poster have described the cause of the respective neuropathies (e.g., diabetes v exposure to certain toxins; vitamin B12 and foliate deficiencies v treatment with certain cancer drugs).

    Finally, neither you nor Steve have described the severity and limitations imposed by the respective peripheral neuropathies.

    As such, at this point one cannot make sensible comparisons between your situation and that of the OP's wife.

    Helpful?

    Happy holidays.

    DocVikingo

    This is educational only and does not constitute or imply a doctor-patient relationship. It is not medical advice to you or any other individual, and should not be construed as such.

    *Neurontin (gabapentin) is related to gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA); Cymbalta (duloxetine) is a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SSNRI).

  5. #5
    Registered


    Has not set a "status"
     

    divepsych's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Raleigh NC
    Posts
    43
    Dives
    500 - 999
    Blog Entries
    1
    When I was designing the diver panic study back in 2000, I reviewed the literature and contacted all the pharmaceutical companies that supplied psychiatric medications in the USA. None of them had any data on psychiatric medications in the hyperbaric (diving) environment and I have not seen anything since then. It is vey unlikely that any of them will ever fund such a study. I've asked. The survey of over 12,000 divers that my wife and I did in 2000 showed no significant increased relative risk of panic for the divers on antidepressant medications.

    In 2000 the standards for medical fitness for recreational scuba diving prohibited scuba diving for people who were taking psychtropic medications. When I called around and asked the various experts at DAN and other published dive medicine physicians about the rule, they thought it came from the old days of Thorazine and tricyclic antidepressant medications which were notorious for lots of side effects like heavy sedation and dry mouth and the list goes on and on, which could have been a problem while diving.

    However, the fitness standards were changed a few years ago (I think in 2002) to reflect the reduced side effects and more wide-spread use of the newer medications. I discussed this in my presentation in September 2007 in Johannesburg at the SAUHMA Refresher course in Underwater Medicine 2007. You can download a pdf file of the talk from www.DivePsych.com : "Anxiety, Panic and Psychiatric Problems in Divers". The organizers had asked me to address the question of antidepressant and other psych medications in divers.

    I was surprised that some of the dive medicine examiners in attendance were recommending conditional depth limits for divers on these medications in the absence of any objective evidence. Certainly, if a diver is already having side effects that impair alertness or judgement on land, then they would likely still have them in the hyperbaric environment and would be advised to not dive or even to drive a motor vehicle or to operate dangerous machinery. However, I have not seen any evidence that these medications cause any more problems underwater than on land.

    A diver's judgement can be impaired by nitrogen narcosis either with or without a psychotropic medication on board. It is theoretically possble that a medication that causes sedation on land could exaggerate the impairment from the nitrogen narcosis, just as would alcohol or cannabis. I am not aware of any published reports at this time.

    The one psych medication that can be a problem in scuba divers is lithium carbonate because of toxicity if the diver becomes very dehydrated while sweating from baking in the sun on the beach or on a boat in a dry suit or thick wetsuit. That could be quite dangerous and potentially lethal.

    Over the years none of my patients have reported any problems while diving on psychiatric medications from the medications. I have accummulated a significant survey database of divers over the past few years and can not recall any reports of problems despite some having been on multiple strong medications. That is anecdotal data, but there are also no published controlled studies upon which to make an evidence based decision. As DocVikingo pointed out, the bigger concern is any limitation from the illness for which the medications have been prescribed.

    On the other hand, quite a few divers have told me that scuba diving is one of the main pleasures they have in life and that they feel more at peace underwater than anywhere else. I think it is a great activity for depressed patients, close to therapeutic. The folks over at DAN have told me there are few if any documented cases of suicide by scuba diving.

    As far as the SNRI antidepressant Cymbalta goes, I am not aware of anything about that particular medication that would be uniquely worsened by the hyperbaric environment while scuba diving. People can respond differently to medications, so a scuba diver is advised to consult his physician any time he/she uses a medication.

    As Doc says, "This is educational only and does not constitute or imply a doctor-patient relationship. It is not medical advice to you or any other individual, and should not be construed as such."
    David F Colvard MD
    Toll-Free 1-877-265-8273
    Evidence-based information on diver stress

Similar Threads

  1. taking unpressurized flights after diving
    By lizardqueen in forum Ask Dr. Decompression
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: November 2nd, 2007, 09:57 AM
  2. Diving with OCD/Anxiety + taking lexapro?
    By pearl21 in forum Diving Medicine
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: April 17th, 2007, 01:10 PM
  3. Ever thought about taking your pets out for diving?
    By caimera in forum Philippine Paradise Divers
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: May 11th, 2006, 01:34 AM
  4. taking virgin islands cruise, where is best diving?
    By donnad in forum General Travel and Vacation Discussions
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: August 6th, 2004, 11:30 PM
  5. diving while taking medicine
    By clive francis in forum Diving Medicine
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: September 24th, 2002, 08:38 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •