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Medical Question

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Well-known member
Nov 27, 2001
One of our readers asked me a question about:

If you have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, can that affect your medical and if you are on prescription drugs for that would they affect your ability to get medical clearance?

If you have any experience with this, I would appreciate hearing about it.
A similar question concerning a specific medication was posed in the 'Ask the AME' column in March of 1999 but when I tried to retrieve the article from the archive, it gave me an error stating that it was no longer avialable. Here is the answer to another question with regard to psychotropic drugs though!

I have recently been given Paxil for treatment of panic attacks. How will this affect my medical?

All psychotropic drugs are considered disqualifying. These medications affect the central nervous system. The medications include stimulants as well as sedatives, tranquilizers, antidepressants and antipsychotic medications. Currently, all antidepressant medications, including Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft are disqualifying, regardless of the reason for their use. Re-evaluation of the rationale for treating panic attacks with Paxil may be appropriate. Generally speaking, any drug that affects the central nervous system is prohibited. There are exceptions, which are generally handled on a case by case basis, when the entire medical history and supporting documentation have been submitted for review. Your AME can provide guidance for specific drugs.
I have ADD and took ritalin for a while as a child. ADD itself is not a disqualifying item. In fact, as the FAA told me, if they took out everyone with ADD or something similar to it half the airlines would suffer a pilot shortage. Now what was I writing about????? Oh yeah, (just a little ADD humor there) Ritalin or any of it's generic's are without exception prohibited by the FAA. It's the side-effects and the unique way it affects individuals that they are concerned about. When I applied for my first medical I gathered some info., called AOPA, and even called Aero-medical in Ok. City prior to reporting it. I hadn't used Ritalin in years so it was no big deal. Good luck.

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