If you are an airman or individual applying for aeromedical certification with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and are currently taking prescribed or non-prescribed medication, your Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) may defer your application to the FAA for further review. Depending upon the type of medication and the underlying medical condition(s) for which that medication is required, the FAA may deny your application for aeromedical certification.

When applying for medical certification with the FAA, question 17a. on FAA Form 8500-8 asks the following: “Do you currently use any medication (prescription or nonprescription).” Unfortunately, this question creates an unnecessary amount of ambiguity, and the supplied instructions for completion of the application for airman medical certification on Form 8500-8 do not provide any insight into the FAA’s definition of the word “currently.” Does this mean currently prescribed? Does this mean actively taking daily or on a set schedule? Regardless, question 17a. on Form 8500-8 causes a multitude of problems for applicants.

In addition to concerns that an incorrect response to question 17a. on FAA Form 8500-8 could lead to claims that the applicant falsified (link to Falsification of Applications to FAA) an application, the applicant must be mindful that certain medications are disqualifying. In other words, the FAA will likely deny an application for a first (1st), second (2nd), or third (3rd) class medical certificate if the airman is currently taking any one of the following medications:

  • Tranquilizers (Valium, Librium, Ativan),
  • Most antidepressants,
  • Opiates (Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Percodan, Oxycontin),
  • Muscle relaxants (Soma, Sonata, Flexeril),
  • Anticholinergics (Levsin, Bnetyl, Transderm Scop),
  • Sedating antihistamines (Benadryl, Chlorpheniramine, Zyrtec),
  • Antipsychotics (Mellaril, Thorazine, Haldol), or
  • Over-the-counter active dietary supplements (Kava-Kava, Valerian)

These are just a few examples of the class of medication and associated medications that the FAA finds aeromedically disqualifying. Unfortunately, the FAA does not publish a complete list of disqualifying medications.

If you are currently taking a disqualifying medication, consult with the attorneys at The Ison Law Firm to discuss your options for obtaining medical certification with the FAA.

*** The attorneys at The Ison Law Firm always advise any applicant or potential client to consult with qualified medical professionals before ceasing the use of prescribed or necessary medications in anticipation of applying for medical certification with the FAA.***