Detroitflyer From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 392 posts, RR: 0 Posted (8 years 6 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 4762 times:
I just have a few general questions that came to my mind recently
firstly, i know that the FAA bans so many meds for pilots even if they are legal. Common ones that come to mind are adderral and other ADHD meds. My first question is
1. If you take them, or are diagnosed with ADD or similar non serious mental disorders, does that put your medical in jeapordy?
2. Also if you do happen to get the medical under the above conditions, will that put you at a disadvantage when applying for jobs??
Also doesnt the Americans with disabilites act prevent against discrimination under these grounds, i mean taking prescription drugs cant really have such a major affect on performing these pilot duties??
DL787932ER From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 597 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (8 years 6 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 4726 times:
1. Taking a medicine that is disqualifying per the FAA renders your existing medical invalid - you are required to self-ground. Pretty much anything that alters brain chemistry, including Adderall, is disqualifying. Were you to apply or reapply for a medical after taking such a drug, you would be required to disclose it (and your application would be rejected). Getting it reinstated (or getting your first medical after having taken such a drug) may or may not be possible - generally you would need supplemental information from the prescribing physician indicating that the condition for which you took the drug had passed, you had been off the drug for a certain number of months/years with no recurrence of the condition, and you would not likely have the condition recur or require the drug again. You may need a lot of back-and-forth with the FAA at that point. In such a case your best bet would be not to apply for a medical until you talked with a competent AME off the record and got your paperwork in order before applying - you want to go through the special issuance procedure off the bat, not start off with a rejection and have to dig yourself out of that hole.
2. If you do get a medical after going through all of the above, you have a medical. Others can correct me if I'm wrong, but a class I medical is a class I medical, however it's obtained (legally), and if you have one it shouldn't matter to an employer whether it needed a special issuance. I have a friend who is a senior AA captain who lost his medical due to a heart condition, and as soon as he got the condition taken care of and got the medical reissued, he went back to the flight line.
3. The FAA isn't bound by the ADA (government generally exempts itself from its own regulations).
If you're asking for yourself, good on you for preparing. Hopefully you haven't taken any disqualifying prescriptions yet - if not, go back to your doctor, mention your concerns (and take with you a list of disqualifying medicines), and ask about alternative treatments to avoid taking such medicines if at all possible. You can also consult with an AME (again, off the record - don't fill out any of the forms) to find out acceptable treatments for a given condition, or failing that, how things should be prescribed and what you would have to do after the fact to get past the disqualification.
Goaliemn From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 463 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (8 years 6 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4627 times:
Quoting Detroitflyer (Thread starter): 1. If you take them, or are diagnosed with ADD or similar non serious mental disorders, does that put your medical in jeapordy?
Pretty much any mental diagnosis cancels your medical. Its very difficult to get one, and even if you do get an AME to issue it, like listed above, it is subject to review and can be cancelled later on.
I wish the FAA would adjust some, but I don't see it happening anytime in the near future. I know some pilots that have had some rough personal issues, but are too scared to see a counselor, as technically, that could be an FAA reportable event and could cost them their medical.
Quoting Detroitflyer (Thread starter): Also doesnt the Americans with disabilites act prevent against discrimination under these grounds, i mean taking prescription drugs cant really have such a major affect on performing these pilot duties??
It sure can have a huge impact. It can raise blood pressure, some can impact your awareness (pain medication), plus at altitude, some can get stronger and/or have different impact on your body. The FAA rules also cover non-prescription drugs. You shouldn't take cold medicine before flying, as the drowsiness effects could be much worse at altitude.
ADA doesn't come into play for something like this. There are huge safety issues related to medical/drug issues that the FAA has a duty to protect people from. Plus, the government is exempt from most of the laws it passes.
If you're looking at becoming a pilot, and have ADD, you should talk to aopa, or possibly join. They'll talk to you about it, and help some. Having ADD will make becoming a pilot difficult, if not impossible, under the current rules.