FAA sets new policy on antidepressants

Pilots taking medication for mild to moderate depression now may be considered for a special issuance of a medical certificate. In a change to take effect April 5, pilots who take one of four antidepressant medications will be allowed to fly if they have been satisfactorily treated on the medication for at least 12 months.

Pilots will be treated on a case-by-case basis if they take any one of these drugs: Fluoxetine (Prozac), Sertraline (Zoloft), Citalopram (Celexa), or Escitalopram (Lexapro).

The agency also announced that it will not take civil action against pilots who take advantage of a six-month opportunity to share any previously non-disclosed diagnosis of depression or use of these antidepressants.

Charles Spence is GAN’s Washington, D.C., correspondent.

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