Antidepressants Approved for US Pilots
The Federal Aviation administration has approved four drugs that pilots can take to treat depression.
The FAA said that drowsiness side effects from the drugs pose no danger in airline flights as they are more controllable compared to sedation effects that are experienced from older medications. The four drugs approved are Eli Lilly & Co.’s Prozac, Pfizer Inc.’s Zoloft and Forest Laboratories Inc.’s Celexa or Lexapro.
Pilots who are suffering from mild to moderate depression may fly again if they passed tests that they were treated properly for over a year.
For six months, the FAA will allow pilots currently suffering or undergoing treatment for depression to come forward without penalty. Current policies rule that pilots who are depressed are not allowed to fly as it can be distracting in the cockpit and may pose safety risks.
Pilots who will be taking up antidepressants will be monitored permanently.