Past use of medication & medical

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by Emnez490, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. Emnez490

    Emnez490 Filing Flight Plan

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    Hello All,

    First post here - will try to make it concise. While I was attending college 5 years ago I had a period where I was dealing with anxiety. Psychiatrist unfortunately pushed for SSRI & Xanax - I took Zoloft for 3 months. Xanax was prescribed as needed. I went off the medication as I didn’t want to take it. I haven’t taken it ever since.

    I am planning to get a third class medical. how will this impact my ability to get it? I’m not currently taking anything but I’m sure it will show on my record. Will I be denied?
     
  2. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    The SSRI you mention will be an item you need to learn more about how the FAA handles this.

    Start with this page of the Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners. Read the entire page, then click the link about SSRI initial certification and read that.

    https://www.faa.gov/about/office_or...process/exam_tech/item47/amd/antidepressants/

    The FAA provides you two paths to certification... Path #1 is if you can successfully wean off of the medication and be okay without it. There are still some particular steps you must go through, but they are not as many with Path #2, where you remain on the medication


    For a really good explanation of the process from an airman's point of view, read this post by @cogscreamer



    As will be mentioned by many members here, a really good HIMS AME to start talking to is Dr. Bruce Chien. Go to his website, www.aeromedicaldoc.com and click the How To Start page. Your initial conversations with him will provide you the right knowledge of how to start and proceed through the process. You are more than welcome to find more info on you're own. But Dr. Bruce's knowledge, experience, and expertise will trump a Google search each time.

    And which ever HIMS AME you choose, make sure you do not do an official live exam with any AME until all you initial questions have been answered, all preparatory reports (including exams by non-AME's and psychologists) are done, your submission file is 100% complete and properly organized, and your HIMS AME is willing to say with 100% certainty that you will eventually be issued your medical certificate.
     
  3. Emnez490

    Emnez490 Filing Flight Plan

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    AggieMike88,

    Thank you for your response and your information.

    Thing is I’m not taking any SSRI or anti anxiety medication. Haven’t taken it for years. My question is specific to past use. Are the current rules in effect for people currently taking medication? Even if I’m not taking it, but have took it in the past, do I need to go through the SSRI Paths?

    Thank you,
    M
     
  4. lbfjrmd

    lbfjrmd Pre-takeoff checklist

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    FAA HIMS/AME/ATC flight doc
    complicated for a nugget - yes. Your only course of action is to apply and answer all questions truthfully. A HIMS AME would be the best route for you though you will likely need a full HIMS representation.
     
  5. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    As Dr. Lou suggests, you need to see a HIMS level AME to get your case sorted. A regular AME doesn't have the tools for you, and as Dr. Bruce said in a different forum, doesn't even know where that tool box is.

    The medical history questions on the medical certification application are prefaced with "HAVE YOU EVER IN YOUR LIFE..." to which you will need to answer "yes" to those questions regarding past psychological diagnosis and use of the medication. That you are not taking it now is of some interest to the FAA, but they are going to want to know the detail about what happened in the past.

    And they are going to want to know the likelihood of a recurrence.

    Google Germanwings and Andreas Lubitz to understand why the FAA is understandably cautious in this area. That is one large spectacular case, but there are many many smaller cases in recent times that has the FAA wanting to know info about your mental health.
     
  6. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    That you are not consuming the medication now isn't going to absolve you in the eyes of the FAA. Zoloft is an SSRI. So the info and advice provided so far does apply to you. Xanax, as a benzo, is also a "drug of interest" to the FAA, and they will want to know the details of why it was proscribed, dosage, frequency, and for how long it was in play.

    And again, to obtain a medical certificate, this isn't something you and a regular run of the mill AME can do. You need to seek out a HIMS level AME. That list is published on the FAA.gov website.

    Sertraline, sold under the trade name Zoloft among others, is an antidepressant of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class.[5] It is used for major depressive disorder, obsessive–compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and social anxiety disorder.[5] Sertraline is taken by mouth.[5]

    Alprazolam, sold as the trade name Xanax among others, is a short-acting benzodiazepine.[4] It is most commonly used in short term management of anxiety disorders, specifically panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).​
     
  7. Emnez490

    Emnez490 Filing Flight Plan

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    Thank you for all of your helpful replies. I will consult with a HIMS AME.

    Best,
    M
     
  8. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    If possible, obtain your medical records from the doctor who put you on those medications in advance of your HIMS AME visit. While perhaps not all you will need from that doctor, it will provide some of the documentation you need. And these records gives the HIMS AME a decent starting point.
     
  9. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Emnez 490. What is clear is that you don't understand: Past use does not guarantee "past only" disease. That is what the problem is going to be- sorting that. There is "recurrent disease which has not yet recurred", esp. in a younger adult.