Every 6 months airline pilots must pass a physical exam to determine their fitness for flight. Are some drugs, such as any of the anti-depressant type, a disqualifier for a commercial or airline pilot?
According to some sources, 17% of the population is, at one time or another, on some type of anti-depressant.
Tricyclic antidepressants – amitriptyline (Elavil® and others), imipramine (Tofranil® and others), nortriptyline (Pamelor® and others)
SSRIs – fluoxetine (Prozac®, Sarafem®), sertraline (Zoloft®), paroxetine (Paxil®)
Atypical – trazodone (Desyrel® and others), nefazodone (Serzone®), buproprion (Wellbutrin® and Zyban®)
MAOIs – phenelzine (Nardil®), tranylcypromine (Parnate®)
It is noted that anti-depressants are prescribed for a myriad of ailments including Irritable Bowel Syndrome or other psychosomatic ailments, not just clinical depression.
Questions for the forum:
1) Are these types of medication banned?
2) Who determines what a pilot can and can not take?
3) How would the governing party know whether or not a pilot is taking a certain prescription drug? Do they test for all known drugs at every medical?
4) Do these rules apply to lesser-licenced pilots as well?
5) Are these imposed by nations or by an international convention?