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October 2017    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 43, No. 10   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Pulmonary Edema and Those Little Blue Pills

from the October, 2017 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Many gentlemen divers claim they can still do it, thanks to those little blue pills, and now it seems there might be some truth in that. Medicine & Science in Sport & Science reports in September 2017 the possible benefits of Sildenafil (Viagra) as a prophylaxis against swimming-induced pulmonary edema (SIPE), for scuba divers, the hidden killer that Undercurrent has given some coverage to recently.

Researchers from the Department of Anesthesiology, Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Environmental Physiology at Duke University, discovered that 50 mg of Viagra taken one hour before immersion reduces pulmonary artery pressure and pulmonary artery wedge pressure, suggesting it may prevent SIPE.

They presented the case of a 46-year-old female ultra-triathlete with a history of at least five SIPE episodes who, after taking the pill before each swim, had no recurrence during 20 subsequent triathlons.

So, gentlemen (and ladies), a legitimate reason (if you don't have already) for carrying those little blue pills on your next diving trip.

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