Friday, August 19, 2005

Is diving with hypertension dangerous?

What could happen to a scuba diver who uses DIOVAN HCT 80/12.5mg for treating hypertension. Is it OK to dive? Are there any problems by using this medication? What about the diuretic substance? I have read that someone who is using diuretics may not off gas nitrogen which could lead to bends and DCS. Is it true and how can someone prevent this?


Our answer:


Hello Diver:
Controlled hypertension is not a contraindication to scuba diving. The drugs you mention are usually not risky, particularly if you maintain a good blood volume and avoid salt depletion. The HCTZ is a diuretic that can cause dehydration if a person is not aware or careful to replenish body fluids. Side effects from the valsartan are few and not adverse to diving.
Of course, hypertension with target organ damage is a contra-indication to scuba diving, particularly if there is any coronary artery disease.
So, you may dive with the understanding that HCTZ can cause dehydration - which is a risk factor for decompression illness.
More about this on my web site at http://www.scuba-doc.com/hyptdiv.htm .