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Ibuprofen good for high altitude flying?

In the UK you’re restricted as to how much Paracetamol or Ibuprofen you can buy at a time. It seems that people who were depressed enough to take overdoses couldn’t be bothered to do the number of shopping trips required to have a good chance of killing themselves.

My understanding is that the policy has reduced deaths.

Last Edited by kwlf at 17 Jun 20:51

I reckon that in 100m of Epsom High Street there must be 20 places you could get 16 × 200mg Ibuprofen. Not really a number of shopping trips, just traipsing from shop to shop.

EGKB Biggin Hill

I’m sure you’re right, but it is still more effort, and means you’re no longer likely to have big pots of pills hanging about in the bathroom because of supermarket “buy 500 Paracetamol get 500 free” offers.


Altitude sickness is not the same reaction as that to acute hypoxia.

Ibuprofen may help with the former but does nothing to combat hypoxia – only oxygen helps for that.

There is large interpersonal variation to hypoxia but little interpersonal variation to repeated hypoxia.

One of the most consistent and dangerous effects of hypoxia is unawareness of the symptoms and the decrease in performance, self reports of being fine therefore need to be viewed with some caution.

The FAA rules are very generous and other than cost and hassle there is no good reason not to use supplemental oxygen operating above 10000ft.

Pulse oximeters and their readings are only part of the story; cerebral oxygenation is not 1:1 linked to what you measure on your finger.

Liquid Oxygen = Nonsense in this context.

Reduction in Ibuprofen/Paracetamol pack sizes introduced to reduce the chance it is used for impulsive para-suicide attempts, and has been very successful in achieving that objective. Indeed amazing how short the ‘attention-span’ is of those who used this previously for that purpose.

Last Edited by Frank at 18 Jun 22:09
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