FAA: Pilots can take antidepressants
The Federal Aviation Administration is set to begin a new policy Monday that will allow some pilots to take antidepressants. The FAA says the policy will improve safety by encouraging pilots who ignore symptoms of depression, or lie about their depression to keep from losing their licenses, to come forward. A six-month amnesty period will also begin for pilots who use antidepressants to come forward without punishment.
Under the new policy, pilots who take one of four antidepressants -- Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa or Lexapro or their generic equivalents -- will be allowed to fly if they have been successfully treated by those medications for a year without side effects that could pose a safety hazard in the cockpit. The antidepressants are classified as SSRIs, which help regulate mood.