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Question
Posted : January 31, 2014
I have been off work as I was diagnosed with stress and mild depression caused through bullying and harassment at work I was diagnosed in November and was put on 20mg citalopram but had side effects so I am now taking 15mg of mirtazapine and I have had counseling and is been dealt with at work I now on an even keel the question is can I still dive on this medication and give me advice as I want to continue diving
I have been going to the pool. Sessions as I am doing my dice master idealise that there is no great depth at the pool therefore not exposed to pressure at depth and I am aware that some medications can have dangerous effects at depth. If these do not allow me to dive is there any alternative medication even though I don't plan to be on them long term
Answer
Posted : February 3, 2014
Thanks for the query.

It is possible to dive on some types of antidepressants, provided certain conditions are met. Mirtazapine is known for its sedative properties, which could be enhanced by increasing depth, so is not an ideal choice for a diver. However the choice should be guided by what is best for your psychiatric health; diving is a secondary concern.

In general, the SSRI's are well tolerated and have a low incidence of side effects relevant to diving. However, you didn't tolerate citalopram well (which is a SSRI), so this makes the decision more difficult. There are some guidelines from the UK Sport Diving Medical Committee on this topic, which can be viewed here:

http://www.uksdmc.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=14:depression&catid=2:general&Itemid=2

Hopefully these can help guide you and your GP to a suitable choice of medication.

Regards, Dr O
Answer provided by Dr Oliver Firth
Dr Ollie Firth
Disclaimer:
The views expressed by Dr Firth & Dr Jules are their own and the publishers accept no liability for the advice and views expressed by Dr Firth , Dr Jules, or other users, which are provided as a general service to divers. Users are warned that secondary posts are the views of other users and may not be medically correct.
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