Stopped Prozac, what to ask doctor to put on records?

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by I'm Better Now, May 10, 2023.

  1. About 2 years ago I started taking Prozac. I had life issues (which I will refer to as a combination of Covid stress/fatigue and some life/health decisions that were contributing that I needed to improve). At no point was I suicidal either in the time leading up to starting the medication or during taking it. This was the first and only time I have ever taken an anti-depressant in my life.

    The medication performed as intended, I was able to get my life back in order. At my last annual physical (about one year ago) I had asked my doctor about a procedure to stop taking it, to which he informed me that, due to its long half-life, I could simply stop taking it if I felt that things were on track and I could do so.

    I waited until the end of last year, understanding that withdrawal symptoms are still a thing and wanting to set myself up for success with stopping. Now it's roughly 5 months later and I have not taken any more Prozac or any other antidepressant, so figure around 19 months total (I don't have an exact date).

    I have my next physical with my doctor coming up next week and I will inform him that I have stopped taking this. My company uses a mail order pharmacy which has continued to send me my prescription on calendar time. I have saved all the pills since I stopped taking it, so I can demonstrate ceasing of the medication back that far.

    I am not sure if I am going to apply for another medical. I stopped actively flying a few years back and haven't had a need for one. Basic Med would be fine for any personal flying I would be likely to do in the future. But, there is always the possibility that if I go back to some form of professional flying (something requiring a 1st or 2nd class medical). I want to make sure that what gets logged by my doctor is correct or appropriate so that, if I choose to apply for another medical, I at least have that documentation in place.

    Any advice from the resident expert AMEs would be appreciated.
  2. WingmanMed

    WingmanMed Pre-Flight

    Jan 25, 2023

    Display name:
    You essentially need a detailed clinical progress note. Given the length of time you were taking it, you should expect your exam to be deferred. Depending on the quality of the progress note from your doctor the FAA may, or may not, request additional information or an evaluation by a psychiatrist.
  3. dbahn

    dbahn Line Up and Wait

    Aug 28, 2007

    Display name:
    Dave Bahnson
    Return your unused meds to the pharmacy and get documentation. The FAA turns a deaf ear to "I haven't taken it since", even if the physician agrees . . . "
  4. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

    Feb 13, 2005
    Bolingbrook, IL

    Display name:
    Bruce C
    It is crucial that your episode lasted more or less than 24 months. Why? If >24 mos you generally need commentary from a psychiatrist, because by pscyhiatry reimbursement definition it cannot be a "adjustment disorder" any longer. Just TRY getting into a true board certified Psychiatrist, when and if meds and no symptoms. Make SURE the PCP dictates:

    Dates of treatment
    With what
    That he names the stressor
    That he notes “no suicidality”
    Date of cessation of treatment, per he and you… .return the unused rx for destruction and recording, to substantiate your claim!
    That this is your one and only event in your life as far as he knows
    That he has seen you >> 60 days post cessation and you are recovered

    These are the essentials if the exposure is less than 24 months…
    Last edited: May 11, 2023
    NHWannabe likes this.