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Medication and flying


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Greetings. I am 45 years old and changing careers. I am seriously thinking of becoming a helo pilot but I was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder and I am taking Lithium and Zoloft. Can anyone tell me if this goes against the medical requirements. Also, is 45 too old to start flying helos? I really could use some advice. Thanks!

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well I would guess bipolar would disqualify you to fly do to the labile moods and the lithium you are taking, lithium is a very dangerous drug with a very slim therapuetic range, meaning that if you take a few too many or you dose is too high, you can be seriously injured or killed. side effects of the lithium are pretty bad as well,. on the flip side, if you do not take enough lithium, it will not do anything for you and you could be prone to some manic or depressive moments, depending on how fast you mood cycles are???


On the other hand, zoloft, being one of the more powerful ssri antidepressant medications, with more side effects than chemotherapy and huffing paint together... I don't know what they would say about this.. but if your bipolar becomes stable, you could probably swich to a less potent ssri, or even do without them.



As far as the antidepressant medications and disqualification, I don't know. I don't see how you could be disqualified for your 2nd or 3 rd class medical just for having a history of clinical depression. I think everyone experiences depression at times and I truley believe everyone has been depressed for atleast six weeks at one time or another in their life. Therefore there would be no pilots if that was the case.\


I don't believe you would be automatically disqualified for being diagnoses with clinical depression 10 years ago and took celexa or some other antidepressant medication for six months and then moved on with your life. Maybe this depression thing, is just something you don't mention to the doctor if it is resolved and you are no longer on any medications.



But I really do not know what the rules set by the faa, for the doctor to disqualify you for your medical. can someone chime in and let us know a little more about certain drugs that definately disqualify you and some diagnosis that will definately disqualify you.



I mean sure seizures, strokes, all mental health problems, possibly active substance abuse, head aches, migranes/


what about high blood pressure that is controlled with medication,


what about flying while taking one vicodin a day for chronic back pain.


what about depression controled by an antidepressant.


what about history of testicular cancer


what about diabetes??


what about history of substance abuse or alcoholism??


loss of feeling in your hands??






high cholesterol???





what about certain medications, are you supposed to disclose everything to the faa doctor????

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