FAA Medical Denied Because of Adderall?

  • ON Aug 25, 2021
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  • BY Anthony Ison
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  • IN Pilot Law

FAA medical denied because of Adderall? Adderall, as well as all other amphetamines and dextroamphetamines, is a disqualifying medication for the purpose of airman medical certification with the FAA. What does this mean? If you are taking Adderall, your application for medical certification will be denied. You will not be issued a medical certificate while you are taking Adderall. If you submit an application for medical certification and identify Adderall as a medication that you are currently using, your Aviation Medical Examiner will automatically defer your application. Thereafter, the FAA will send you a letter (approximately one to two months after your exam) and likely ask for any combination of treatment records, a current status letter from your treating physician, 12-months of pharmacy records, and/or a neuropsychological evaluation with a HIMS-trained psychologist or neuropsychologist.

Is there a better way? Yes! You should never submit a medical application to the FAA during the time in which you are currently using Adderall. Instead, prior to your application you should talk with your doctor about the possibility of discontinuing your use of the medication. This discontinuation should be properly documented and monitored by your treating physician. Following 90 days or more of discontinuation, then it would be appropriate to submit an application to the FAA for medical certification. At the time of application, you should be able to provide documentation regarding discontinuation of the Adderall, as well as treatment records, a current status letter from your doctor, and pharmacy records (demonstrating that you have not filled any prescriptions for Adderall within 90 days).

Will discontinuing the medication prevent a deferral? No! Unfortunately, you will still need to say “yes” to question 18m. on the medical application due to your history of ADD/ADHD and/or condition for which you have been using the Adderall. This underlying condition will warrant deferral by your Aviation Medical Examiner.

The good news, however, is that it is possible that if you have properly documented discontinuation of the Adderall and if you can demonstrate stability, you may be able to prevent the costly and risky neuropsychological evaluation. While not guaranteed, circumstances may warrant the FAA allowing an individual to be issued a special issuance authorization, without the requirement for cognitive testing. While these cases tend to be reserved for airmen who have long discontinued Adderall and have exhibited no ongoing, cognitive deficiencies, every case is different. Whether you anticipate a deferral or have been denied, consultation with a FAA medical attorney regarding how to best present your history is crucial.

Why involve a FAA attorney in your FAA medical application? Despite what you may hear from your AME, the medical certification process is more so a legal process than a medical process. As with denials for the use of a disqualifying medication, ensuring that your doctor is developing the proper documentation regarding your discontinuation of the medication, as well as the status of your underlying condition, can be a delicate process. To that end, everything that is submitted to the FAA (i.e. records, statements, evaluations, etc.) goes into your airman medical file. This file is what the FAA then utilizes to evaluate whether you are eligible to hold a medical certificate. If you are later denied and wish to appeal that denial, your airman medical file becomes “Exhibit A” before the NTSB or upon reconsideration by the Federal Air Surgeon. So, a FAA attorney can evaluate your records, prepare a plan for best presentation of your case to the FAA, and best argue your medical eligibility to the Federal Air Surgeon, with an eye for potential, future appeal.

FAA medical denied because Adderall? Call the FAA attorneys at The Ison Law Firm. We are happy to evaluate your case and discuss with you a plan for presenting your case for consideration by the Federal Air Surgeon. Aviation law is all we do. Nothing else.