There is good news for airmen who wish to be issued an FAA medical certificate while using Effexor. The FAA has identified that three additional medications will be added to the list of disqualifying anti-depressant medications that can be considered for special issuance authorization. The new medications being considered for a special issuance authorization (waiver) include Effexor (venlafaxine), Cymbalta (duloxetine), and Pristiq (desvenlafaxine).

Until this time, airmen who were treated with these medications would not be issued an FAA medical certificate or special issuance authorization. Beginning April 24, 2024, airmen who are treated with Effexor, Cymbalta, or Pristiq, may pursue FAA medical certification under special issuance authorization protocols already in place for antidepressants.

Effexor, Cymbalta, and Pristiq remain disqualifying medications for unrestricted medical certification. In other words, the FAA will still require applicants using these medications to be issued under a special issuance authorization. The FAA already has a protocol in place for 5 additional antidepressants that were previously available for special issuance authorization. These medications include Fluoxetine (Prozac), Sertraline (Zoloft), Citalopram (Celexa), Escitalopram (Lexapro), and Bupropion (Wellbutrin) Extended Release (XL) or Sustained Release (SR) 

A special issuance authorization works like a waiver. In other words, if at the Federal Air Surgeon’s discretion, your underlying medical condition is being effectively treated with one of these 8 medications and your medical history is otherwise not disqualifying, you may qualify for airman medical certification.

The special issuance authorization for getting an FAA medical while using Effexor, Cymbalta, or Pristiq is identical to the special issuance process already in place. This process includes requiring the airman to engage with a HIMS-trained Aviation Medical Examiner, a HIMS-trained psychiatrist, and a HIMS-trained neuropsychologist for evaluation and monitoring.

The FAA will also extensively review medical records and history to ascertain whether there are any disqualifying features in the medical history including symptoms or a history of psychosis, suicidal ideation, electroconvulsive therapy, treatment with multiple SSRIs concurrently, or a multi-agent drug protocol use (prior use of other psychiatric drugs in conjunction with SSRIs).

Contact the Aviation Lawyers from The Ison Law Firm Aviation Lawyers for Help Today

If you are concerned about obtaining your FAA medical while using Effexor, Cymbalta, or Pristiq, consider a consultation with an FAA medical defense attorney at The Ison Law Firm Aviation Lawyers before applying for an FAA medical certificate. We are happy to evaluate your case and discuss with you a plan for presenting your case to your AME or the FAA.

You need both a pilot and a lawyer on your side for your aviation law needs. Don’t hesitate to contact our team from The Ison Law Firm Aviation Lawyers to schedule a free consultation with an experienced aviation lawyer today.

We’re pilots representing pilots. The Ison Law Firm Aviation Lawyers offers FAA enforcement defense and medical certification representation worldwide!

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