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Acceptable Medications / Treatments

FAA / DOT Medical Certification requires that pilots /drivers take no medication which is likely to interfere with safe performance of their duties.  Neither the FAA or the DOT publish an official list of approved drugs. The following list of medications was compiled primarily to assist pilots however drivers and physicians may also find this list useful.  This list was developed through experience with pilots and drivers and should not be considered complete or regulatory.
Type Cntrl +F or Cmd +F to find any word on this page. Use Cntrl+F or Cmd+F to find any drug or condition listed on this page.
Acne - Most all antibiotics are acceptable. Safety dictates one should wait 48 hours after the initial dose to assure no negative side effects occur.   Accutane (Isotretinoin) may be unsafe as it can cause poor night vision.

ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) - The FAA has approved a limited number of pilots on Ritalin or Concerta (Methylphenidate).  Pilots with a history of ADD are approved on a case by case basis only. Very few pilots are approved without discontinuing ADD medication and those approved on meds must discontinue them 24hrs prior to flight.

Arrhythmia (heart) - The following medications are approved on a case by case basis subject to a compete cardiovascular evaluation.

  • Betapace (Sotalol)
  • Calan (Verapamil)
  • Cordarone, Pacerone (Amiodarone)
  • Lanoxin (Digoxin)
  • Norpace (Disopyramide)
  • Rythmol (Propafenone)
  • Tambocorare (Flecanide)

       MORE

Allergy / Cold - Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine) and Entex (Phenylpropanolamine) are approved by the FAA provided they are not combined with an antihistamine.

Most other over the counter cold medications such as Benedryl, are NOT approved.

Claritin (Loratadine), Clarinex (Desloratadine) and Allegra (Fexofenadine) are acceptable to the FAA provided no negative side effects are experienced. 

Approved Inhalers include: 

  • Afrin (Pseudoephedrine)
  • Beconase
  • Vancenase (Beclomethasone dipropionate)
  • Nasalide (Flunisolide)
  • Flonase, (Fluticasone propionate)

Antacids - The following medications are usually approved for pilots without ulcers. Pilots With Ulcers

  • Aciphex
  • Axid
  • Mylanta
  • Pepcid
  • Prilosec
  • Protonix
  • Rolaids
  • Tagamet
  • Tums
  • Zantac

Antibiotics - The use of antibiotics is usually permissible, providing the drug has been taken for long enough (usually 48 hours) to rule out the possibility of side effects.

Anti-Coagulants - The following are usually approved:

  • Aspirin (Salicylate)
  • Coumadin (Warfarin)
  • Trental (Pentoxifylline)

Antidepressants / Anxiety - With the exception of herbal preparations, NO anti-depressants or anti-anxiety are approved by the FAA.  MORE

Anti-Inflammatory & Arthritis - The following medications are usually approved provided there are no side effects and the condition being treated does not preclude safe performance of flight duties:

  • Advil
  • Aleve
  • Ansaid
  • Arava
  • Arthrotec
  • Asacol
  • Aspirin
  • Azulfidine
  • Celebrex
  • Cataflam
  • Daypro
  • Dolobid
  • Enbrel
  • Ibuprofen
  • Indocin
  • Mediprin
  • Motrin
  • MotrinIB
  • Naprosyn
  • Naproxen
  • Orudis
  • Oruvail
  • Plaquenil - This medication may affect your vision & requires an eye evaluation
  • Relafen
  • Tylenol
  • Toradol
  • Vioxx
  • Voltaren 

Anti-Viral - The following medications are approved by the FAA on a case by case basis: 

  • Famvir (Famciclovir)
  • Rebetron, Virazole (Ribavirin)
  • Valtrex (Valacyclovir)
  • Zovirax (Acyclovir)

Asthma / COPD - These conditions often require a combination of drugs which are usually approved by the FAA on an individual basis.  Approved meds include:

  • Accolate (Zafirlukast)
  • Aerobid (Flunisolide)
  • Azmacort (Tiamcinolone)
  • Proventil + Ventolin (Albuterol)
  • Theo-Dur (Theophylline)
  • Zyflo (Zileuton)                                      MORE

Attention Deficit (ADD) - Ritalin (Methylphenidate Hydrochloride) and Adderall (Dextroamphetamine Sulfate) are usually not approved by the FAA. Under rare circumstances, individuals using Ritalin may be approved with restrictions.  Approval is more likely for adults due to the difficulty in accurately evaluating ADD in young people and typically requires time off medication prior to flight.

Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH) The following are approved on a case by case basis:

  • Cardura (Doxazosin Mesylate)
  • Dibenzyline (Phenoxybenzamine HCL)
  • Flomax (Tamsulosin HCL)
  • Hytrin (Terazosin HCL)
  • Leuprolide Acetate (Lupron Depot)
  • Minipress, Minizide (Prazosin HCL)
  • Proscar (Finasteride)

Bladder Control - The following medications approved by the FAA for bladder control after 30 days of symptom-free use.

  • Detrol (Tolterodine Tartrate)
  • Ditropan XL (Oxybutynin Chloride)

Blood Thinners - The following are usually approved:

  • Aspirin
  • Coumadin
  • Trental

With the exception of aspirin, detailed information regarding the underlying condition and INR's are required.

Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Centrally acting agents such as Guanethidine, Guanadrel, Guanabenz, Methyldopa, and Reserpine are not acceptable to the FAA.

The following medications are approved on a case by case basis:
  

Alpha Blockers

  • Doxazosin (Cardura)
  • Phenoxybenzamine (Dibenzyline)
  • Terazosin (Hytrin)
  • Prazosin (Minipress, Minizide) 

Beta Blockers

  • Acebutolol (Sectral)
  • Atenolol (Tenormin, Tenoretic)
  • Betaxolol (Kerlone)
  • Bisoprolol (Zebeta, Ziac)
  • Carteolol (Cartrol)
  • Carvedilol (Coreg)
  • Labetalol (Normodyne, Trandate)
  • Metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol)
  • Nadolol (Corgard, Corzide)
  • Penbutolol (Levatol)
  • Pindolol (Visken)
  • Propranolol (Inderal, Inderide)
  • Timolol (Blocadren, Timolide)

Calcium Channel Blockers

  • Diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac)
  • Verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Veralan, Tarka)
  • Mibefradil (Posicor)
  • Amlodipine (Norvasc, Lotrel)
  • Felodipine (Plendil, Lexxel)
  • Isradipine (DynaCirc)
  • Nicardipine (Cardene)
  • Nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia)
  • Nisoldipine (Sular)

Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors

  • Aceon (Perindopril erbumine)
  • Quinapril (Accupril)
  • Ramipril (Altace)
  • Captopril (Capoten, Capozide)
  • Trandolapril (Mavik)
  • Fosinopril (Monopril)
  • Lisinopril (Prinivil, Prinzide, Zestril, Zestoretic)
  • Moexipril (Univasc, Unitrec)
  • Enalapril (Vasotec, Vaseretic)

Angiotensin II Receptor Antagonists

  • Irbesartan (Avapro)
  • Losartan (Cozaar, Hyzaar)
  • Valsartan (Diovan)

Diuretics

  • Thiazides (HCTZ, Diuril, Hydrodiuril, Oretic, Enduron)
  • Triamterene (Dyrenium)
  • Spironolactone (Aldactone)
  • Bumetanide (Bumex)
  • Furosemide (Lasix)
  • Torsemide (Demadex)
  • Metolazone (Zaroxolyn, Mykrox)
  • Indapamide (Lozol)
  • Combinations (Dyazide, Maxzide, Moduretic)

Botox - Botulinum Neurotoxin may be approved on a case by case basis with restrictions.

Cancer - Most cancer treatment/medications, such as; Chemotherapy, must be completed prior to resuming flight duties. 

  • Nolvadex (Tamoxifen) is approved on a case by case basis.
  • Radioactive seed implantation may be approved after radioactivity is sufficiently reduced and side effects are absent.    MORE

Cardiovascular - With the exception of chest-pain drugs (ISMO, IMDUR, ISORDIL), most cardiovascular medications are approved. (see arrhythmia, blood pressure, blood thinners, cholesterol)

Cervical Dystonia - Botulinum Neurotoxin may be approved on a case by case basis with restrictions.

Cholesterol / Lipid Management - Most medications used in the treatment of hyperlipidemia are approved by the FAA.  This includes: 

  • Lipitor (Atorvastatin)
  • Lopid (Gemfibrozil)
  • Mevacor (Lovastatin)
  • Niacin (Nicotinic Acid)
  • Pravachol (Pravastatin)
  • Questran,Cholestyramine, Locholest, Prevalite (Cholestyramine Resin)
  • WelChol (Colesevelam Hydrochloride)
  • Zocor (Simvastatin)

Contraceptives - Almost always approved

Cold - See Allergy / Cold Medications

Coumadin is generally acceptable provided the patient has laboratory results demonstrating he/she is within the therapeutic range.

Crohn's Disease - Pentasa (Mesalamine) is approved on a case by case basis.

Depression - With the exception of herbal preparations (Saint Johns Wort), NO anti-depressants are currently approved by the FAA. MORE

Dermatological - Accutane is approved treatment of acne during daytime flight only. Most topical medications for acne or similar conditions may be approved by the FAA.  Submit your medication

Diabetes - Insulin is approved on a case by case basis for Class 3 medical certification.  With proper documentation, most oral hypoglycemic medications are approved for all classes. This includes:

  • Actos (Pioglitazone)
  • Amaryl (Glimeperide)
  • Avandia (Rosiglitazone)
  • Diabeta or Glynase (Glyburide)
  • Glucophage (Metformin)
  • Glucotrol (Glipizide)
  • Prandil (Repaglinide)
  • Precose (Acarbose)

Some of these medications are not approved in combination with other medications. Contact Us for a free consultation

Diarrhea - While this condition is usually self-limiting, the following medications may be used for minor occurrences:

  • Kaopectate
  • Imodium
  • Pepto-Bismol

Other medications require discontinuation at least 48 hours prior to flight.

Diet - Xenical is approved after 30 days of observation for side effects.  Most over-the-counter medications or herbal preparations have a high incidence of negative side effects. MORE

Erectile Dysfunction - Viagra (Sildenafil citrate) is approved by the FAA (6 hrs after use).

Gall Stones - Actigall (Ursidiol) is approved on a case by case basis.

GERD - Reglan (Metoclopramide hydrochloride) is approved, however, only after side effects are reviewed by the FAA and the airman must not fly for 24 hrs after discontinuing the medication.  The following medications are approved on a case by case basis:

  • Aciphex
  • Axid
  • Mylanta
  • Pepcid
  • Prevacid
  • Prilosec
  • Protonix
  • Rolaids
  • Tagamet
  • Tums
  • Zantac

Glaucoma - Most gaucoma medications are approved after proper evaluation.  MORE

Gout - With detailed evaluation the following medications are usually approved:

  • Benemid (Probenecid)
  • Colbenemid (Colchicine)
  • Zyloprimare (Allopurinol)

Hair Growth - Rogaine (Minoxidil) is approved by the FAA.  Propecia (Finisteride) and Procaine require individual approval.

Heart - With the exception of angina / chest-pain meds (ISMO, IMDUR, ISORDIL), most cardiovascular medications are approved on a case by case basis. MORE (see arrhythmia, blood pressure, blood thinners, cholesterol)

Herbal - Most herbal preparations are approved by the FAA provided there are no side effects and the condition being treated is not disqualifying.             MORE 

Herpes - The following medications are approved by the FAA on a case by case basis: 

  • Famvir (Famciclovir)
  • Valtrex (Valacyclovir)
  • Zovirax (Acyclovir)

HIV - Antiretroviral medications may be approved on an individual basis and should be prescribed in compliance with the 1996 DHHS Panel recommendations regarding the Clinical Practices for the Treatment of HIV. Approved medications include: Epivir (Lamivudine)                              MORE

Hormone Replacement - This treatment is approved by the FAA.

Hypertension - See Blood Pressure

Infection - The use of antibiotics is usually permissible, providing the drug is has been FDA approved for at least one year and has been used long enough (usually 48 hours) to rule out the possibility of side effects.  A partial list of acceptable antibiotics include:

  • Amoxicillin
  • Amoxil
  • Biaxin
  • Clarithromycin

Impotence --Viagra (Sildenafil citrate) is approved by the FAA (six hours after use).

Migraine - The following preventative migraine drugs are approved depending upon the severity of the condition: 

  • Beta-Blockers
  • Caffergot
  • Calcium-Channel Blockers
  • Sansert
  • Imitrex
  • Zomig

Mood Enhancing - With the exception of herbal preparations, NO mood ameliorating medications are not approved by the FAA.

Motion Sickness - Ginger root is an acceptable treatment for the prevention of benign motion sickness. MORE

Multiple Sclerosis - Avonex (Interferon BETA-1a) is approved on a case by case basis.

Obesity - Xenical (Orlistat) may be approved after 30 days without negative side-effects and on a case by case basis.

Pain Control - The following medications are usually approved provided there are no side effects and the condition being treated does not preclude safe performance of flight duties:

  • Advil
  • Aleve
  • Ansaid
  • Celebrex
  • Indocin
  • Mediprin
  • Motrin
  • MotrinIB
  • Naprosyn
  • Tylenol
  • Vioxx
  • Voltaren 

   Botox (derivative of the botulism bacteria) may be approved on a case by case basis.

Parkinson's Disease - The following are approved on a case by case basis:

  • Amantadine
  • Atamet
  • Comtan
  • Sinemet
  • Eldepryl
  • Parlodel
  • Permax

Psychiatric- With the exception of herbal preparations, NO psychotropic medications are approved by the FAA. MORE

Prostate - The following are usually approved: Saw palmetto, Cardura, Casodex, Flomax, Hytrin, and Proscar are usually approved for treatment of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). Radioactive seeds may be approved after evaluation and reduced radiation.

Restless Leg Syndrome - The following may be approved by the FAA on a case by case basis:

  • Atamet
  • Parlodel
  • Permax
  • Sinemet

Seizure - Anti-seizure medications are NOT approved for pilots. MORE

Sleep - Most sleep aiding medications are not approved by the FAA.  Melatonin is approved for pilots WITHOUT sleep disorders. MORE

Smoking Cessation - Nicotine patches or gum are approved on an individual basis. Zyban may be utilized to quit but must be discontinued prior to FAA approval. MORE CESSATION INFO

Steroids - Topical steroids are usually approved for the treatment of minor dermatological conditions. Approved medications includes: 

  • Cortef
  • Florinef
  • Low doses of Prednisone

Thyroid - Medications used to stabilize thyroid function is usually approved but only an an individual basis.

Topical - Accutane is approved treatment of acne during daytime flight only. Most topical medications for acne or similar conditions may be approved by the FAA.  

Ulcer - The use of prophylactic medications for the peptic ulcer illnesses, such as antacids, H-2 blockers, and Sucralfate may be allowed, depending on the specific condition and severity.  Favorable FAA consideration requires extensive evaluation.  Approved medications includes:

  • Aciphex
  • Asacol
  • Azulfidine
  • Cytotec
  • Dipentum
  • Mylanta
  • Pepcid
  • Prevacid
  • Prilosec
  • Propulsid
  • Protonix
  • Rolaids
  • Tagamet
  • Tums
  • Zantac may be approved on a case by case basis.

Ulcerative Colitis - The following are approved on a case by case basis:

  • Asacol (Mesalamine)
  • Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine)
  • Dipentum (Olsalazine)

Vaccinations - Prophylactic injections such as; immunizations or B-12 shots are usually approved provided there are no side effects.

Viral Infection - The following anti-viral medications are approved by the FAA on a case by case basis: 

  • Famvir (Famciclovir)
  • Rebetron, Virazole (Ribavirin)
  • Valtrex (Valacyclovir)
  • Zovirax (Acyclovir)

Weight Loss- Xenical is approved by the FAA after a 30 day observation period.  Most over-the-counter medications or herbal preparations have a high incidence of negative side effects. MORE

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