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FAA Lifts Ban On Antidepressants  
User currently offlineDeltaAVL From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1893 posts, RR: 6
Posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5437 times:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...LaL4b5sI8HfeSe6lavRFlQ5kwD9ER0J6O0

"WASHINGTON — Some pilots taking medication for mild or moderate depression will be able to fly as soon as next week under a new government rule aimed partly at getting those taking antidepressants to disclose the treatment.

The new policy, which takes effect Monday, reverses a ban on flying for pilots taking medications like Prozac. Federal Aviation Administration officials said the old rule was based on outdated versions of antidepressants that could cause drowsiness and other side effects."



This is a pretty striking move. What does everyone think?


Cheers,
--Will


"We break, We bend, With hand in hand, When hope is gone, Just hang on." -Guster
19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinejogales From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 437 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5400 times:

I've been waiting for this for years...hallelujah!!!  

Josh



-
User currently offlinecontrails From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 1833 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5388 times:

Quoting DeltaAVL (Thread starter):
This is a pretty striking move. What does everyone think?

I guess it's better to have a pilot who isn't depressed at the controls than one who is.

Does anyone know how big a problem depression is with commercial pilots?



Flying Colors Forever!
User currently offlineAverageUser From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5380 times:

Quoting DeltaAVL (Thread starter):
This is a pretty striking move. What does everyone think?

There's sound research behind it. In Australia, antidepressants have been allowed for some time:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/...pressants-pose-no-safety-risk.html

It's always better to have your pilot not in a depressed state of mind.


User currently offlineDeltaAVL From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1893 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5360 times:

So what impact, if any, will this have on the already vastly oversaturated field of commercial pilots?

[Edited 2010-04-02 10:01:30]


"We break, We bend, With hand in hand, When hope is gone, Just hang on." -Guster
User currently offlineOB1504 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 3356 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5294 times:

Quoting DeltaAVL (Reply 4):
So what impact, if any, will this have on the already vastly oversaturated field of commercial pilots?

Little to none; we may be surprised at what percentage of the current commercial pilot pool has been secretly taking antidepressants.


User currently offlineDL787932ER From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 597 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5294 times:

Quoting DeltaAVL (Reply 4):
So what impact, if any, will this have on the already vastly oversaturated field of commercial pilots?

The ones who are depressed will now seek treatment for it since they won't lose their medical, and we'll have fewer clinically depressed pilots.



F L Y D E L T A J E T S
User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6392 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5243 times:

Woot Woot....This is the reason for my lack of a medical  

I just wonder, though, if the ban lifting will only apply to Part 91 ops and private pilots...



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineg4lasramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 170 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 5191 times:

It's about time. Although I've never used them, there have been times when I probably should have been.

I wonder if the FAA will change its stance on pilots visiting mental health professionals, something that I feel should be seen as a very healthy and proactive choice for any professional dealing with occasional bouts of depression. Again, I've never visited a specialist, though at times I have felt the desire to do so. Such visits should be an open option. I've never much cared for medication-based solutions, even when they're professionally prescribed and monitored.

AFAIK FAA and most airline aero-medical standards still list any record of such visits as disqualifying for a US 1st- or 2nd-class medical certificate.

Just as many airlines, labor unions, and the FAA have cooperated to proactively deal with things like alcoholism (HIMS programs and the like), occasional depression should be something that can be dealt with discretely without fear or worry of losing flying status.



"A pig that doesn't fly is just a pig." - Porco Rosso
User currently offlinejfklganyc From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 3491 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 5148 times:

"So what impact, if any, will this have on the already vastly oversaturated field of commercial pilots?"

I imagine not much.

The pilots that have been taking it porbably just avoided reporting it. Much like the "Don't ask, Don't tell" policy, it never stopped a pilot from taking anti-depressants, it just shoved them in the closet.

What it will do is allow pilots to openly report taking the drugs


User currently offlineaa757first From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3350 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 5114 times:

Finally! Anti-depressants are the most commonly prescribed class of medication in the United States. There have been trauma surgeons, firefighters, SWAT team officers and other high stress professionals taking them safely for years. About time the FAA woke up.

User currently offlineDeltaAVL From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1893 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 5047 times:

Quoting DL787932ER (Reply 6):
The ones who are depressed will now seek treatment for it since they won't lose their medical, and we'll have fewer clinically depressed pilots.

That makes great sense.

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 7):
I just wonder, though, if the ban lifting will only apply to Part 91 ops and private pilots...

From what I understand, it includes everyone.

This article...

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/faa...-fly-on-antidepressants-2010-04-02

...speaks specifically of "airline pilots."



"We break, We bend, With hand in hand, When hope is gone, Just hang on." -Guster
User currently offlineJBirdAV8r From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 4491 posts, RR: 21
Reply 12, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 5029 times:

Quoting OB1504 (Reply 5):
Little to none; we may be surprised at what percentage of the current commercial pilot pool has been secretly taking antidepressants.
Quoting DL787932ER (Reply 6):
The ones who are depressed will now seek treatment for it since they won't lose their medical, and we'll have fewer clinically depressed pilots.

   Overall good move.



I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
User currently offlinefghtngsiouxATC From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 216 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 4942 times:

The best move the FAA has made in a LONG time.

User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21642 posts, RR: 55
Reply 14, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 4942 times:

Quoting DeltaAVL (Thread starter):
What does everyone think?

Long, long, long overdue. I was at a safety conference last year, and one of the topics that came up is that there are pilots flying out there with depression, and won't get treatment for it because it would invalidate their medical. Given that anti-depressants are widespread in modern society, their effects are well understood, and its pretty clear that they can be effective without dangerous side effects.

The result: pilots will be able to get the treatment they need without having to worry about whether it will mean the end of their careers. That means safer cockpits, since you won't have as many pilots flying when their emotions aren't fit for it. Very good move by the FAA.

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 7):
I just wonder, though, if the ban lifting will only apply to Part 91 ops and private pilots...

It should be across the board from what I understand.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineMaestroJJP From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 25 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 4863 times:

All of the articles I've seen on this report that the ban has been lifted on only these four SSRIs - Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa and Lexapro ("and their generic equivalents.").

Are there any thoughts from anyone as to why the newer SNRIs - Effexor and Cymbalta - are still not approved? They are becoming more popular and are often more effective.


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19738 posts, RR: 59
Reply 16, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 4783 times:

Quoting MaestroJJP (Reply 15):

Are there any thoughts from anyone as to why the newer SNRIs - Effexor and Cymbalta - are still not approved? They are becoming more popular and are often more effective.

Probably because they're newer.

Generally the four SSRI's mentioned will be the first-line therapy in the majority of cases.

Lexapro is particularly interesting in that its side-effect profile is actually superior to placebo. Yes, folks, you are more likely to get a side-effect from taking placebo than you are from taking Lexapro. This is probably because in those trials, there were some people with mild depression in the experimental group who had improvement while taking the active medication, while those same people in the placebo arm didn't have that benefit.


User currently offlineJBLUA320 From United States of America, joined May 2002, 3179 posts, RR: 19
Reply 17, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 4561 times:
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Quoting MaestroJJP (Reply 15):
All of the articles I've seen on this report that the ban has been lifted on only these four SSRIs - Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa and Lexapro ("and their generic equivalents.").

Are there any thoughts from anyone as to why the newer SNRIs - Effexor and Cymbalta - are still not approved? They are becoming more popular and are often more effective.

In addition to Doc's suggestion about them being newer, I wonder if it's because Effexor and Cymbalta have so many other uses? For example, while Prozac only has indications for depression and anxiety, Cymbalta has indications for diabetic nerve pain and fibromyalgia.

I'm surprised Paxil and Pexeva didn't make the list - they've been around longer than Lexapro and are still considered SSRIs even though they have a mild effect on norepinephrine.


User currently offlineshamrock604 From Ireland, joined Sep 2007, 4176 posts, RR: 12
Reply 18, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 4515 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 16):
Lexapro is particularly interesting in that its side-effect profile is actually superior to placebo. Yes, folks, you are more likely to get a side-effect from taking placebo than you are from taking Lexapro. This is probably because in those trials, there were some people with mild depression in the experimental group who had improvement while taking the active medication, while those same people in the placebo arm didn't have that benefit.

An immenently sensible move from FAA. Lexapro is a fantastic, life changing drug even for those with longer term depression. After the initial one week period where there are adjustment affects, there are absolutely no side affects in the vast majority of cases.

An enlightened move from FAA, and one that will hopefully lessen the stigma of depression within aviation. It is a big problem in aviation and one that needs a more pro-active and tolerant attitude.



Flown EI,FR,RE,EIR,VE,SI,TLA,BA,BE,BD,VX,MON,AF,YS,WX,KL,SK,LH,OK,OS,LX,IB,LTU,HLX,4U,SU,CO,DL,UA,AC,PR,MH,SQ,QF, EY, EK
User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6392 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 4437 times:

Quoting JBLUA320 (Reply 17):
Paxil

Lots of side-effects on this one. In addition, it is a tough one to kick...  



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
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