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ADD Medication and Flying

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Well-known member
Mar 14, 2006
Well I thought my flying career was over, but here I am posting on this site. I haven't flown in two years and I'm actually going to school for another career when the possibility for getting another flight job has landed in my lap. (no pun intended)

I always knew I had ADD. It never affected my flying skills but it always made it harder than normal to learn. I always had to work twice as hard as everyone else. Until now. When I made the decision to get out of flying I decide to finally get tested for ADD. Well heck yea... I had a scorching case of it. Now that I'm back in school and on medication, I pick things up quicker, I can concentrate better, and I can recall information better than I did before.

So here is my question. What are the FAA rules regarding ADD medication? If I get an interview should I bring this up? The medication will show in a drug test so how does this affect my medical?

I could go off of the medication and be fine. I would lose the edge that I now have but I functioned before. I could also go off the medication for the medical and if I get hired for that drug screen, but I'm too old to play the lying game and I don't need an ulcer.

I didn't do the search...sorry if there is already a thread out there...well I will b!tch slap myself.

Any advice or input would be great. Thanks,M
You have to be off of it for a specified period in order to be cleared of a medical. A sympathetic AME will give you the details.

If you are ACTIVELY TAKING the medication you cannot fly. That's really all there is to it.
The FAA doesn't approve or disapprove medications, per se. Each situation is handled on a case by case basis. In many cases, the underlying condition is the primary concern, in addition to any side effects that the medication might provide.

ADHD has three primary symptoms, each of which is detrimental to piloting activities: inattention, hyperactivity,and impulsive behavior or tendencies.

Leftseatsolutions.com offers some help online, http://www.leftseat.com/medications.htm



You may also want to consider http://www.myflightsurgeon.com. Dr. Forred will provide assistance in keeping or gaining medical certification, where able. He specializes in helping people get or keep their medical certificate.

Do a search. I would recommend virtual flight surgeons (aviationmedicine.com), they helped me get my medical back. Here is a quote from their website. Good luck.

Medication Class — Attention Deficit Disorder Medications

Medication Class Description:

Current FAA policy does not allow persons who use any medications for ADD or ADHD to hold an airman medical certificates.
The FAA now has a protocol for evaluating pilots with Attention Deficit Disorder prior to issuing a waiver. Some individuals using medication have been waivered after neurocognitive testing shows adequate performance at least 72 hours off the medication. If the results of this testing is favorable, the pilot may be cleared to fly if no longer taking medications. Individuals with a reliable childhood diagnosis of ADHD may have to wait 90 days after stopping medication to take the required testing.
Some of the medications used for ADHD will cause a positive drug test in DOT drug testing programs. Strattera has a warning regarding possible liver damage.
VFS can assist with in coordinating required psychological testing and waiver petitions..

Medications Within Class:

Strattera (atomoxetine) Ritalin (methylphenidate) , Adderall (dextroamphetamine)
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