SPECIAL ISSUANCE for ANTIDEPRESSANTS

S1lverbullet

New Member
I just received my past medical records from my new psychiatrist office. Turns out I was diagnosed with Bipolar II a couple years back. My wife who is a nurse practicioner and my current psychiatrist both do not think that I am bipolar because since certain negative situations have subsided in my life my mood has been stable. Is there any way I can challenge or change this diagnosis? Any way around it at all?
 

Monk

Well-Known Member
I just read the flying mags article on how the FAA is wrong on its stance on ssri's. Why would anyone report this to the FAA? It seems to me that in very mild cases it would just be easier to go to the free clinic and get this taken care of, rather than jump through all these hoops and take a year off of work or more.
 

My Flight Surgeon

Sr. Aviation Medical Examiner
Not reporting is falsifying the application for a medical certificate. A good way to 1) lose all of your certificates, 2) get a $250,000 fine, and/or 3) go to prison for 5 years. Your gamble, hope you play poker well.
 

Monk

Well-Known Member
I don't need or partake, however I think the Feds are just bass akwards on this subject
 

Used2Fly

Well-Known Member
And if you do go to a Doctor, be careful telling them you're a pilot. Some of them go into full CYA mode and start testing everything!
 

Skydreamer2015

Well-Known Member
I thought I would ask since the posts in this thread are quite dated. I am currently on Effexor. I was prescribed it about 2 years ago during a rough time in my marriage. I wasn't diagnosed as being depressed, but the doc that prescribed it to me thought it would help "level" me out during this time. On a follow up visit with the doctor, he asked me how I was with the medication. I told him, good and he asked me if I wanted to continue with the medication. I told him, yes. I had the attitude of why not? Couldn't hurt. Now I am working on getting back to finishing my training after not flying in 14 years. With that all being said...where do I stand? What do I need to do to get a First Class medical? Thanks!
 

Skydreamer2015

Well-Known Member
What do I need to do to obtain my First Class medical? I don't need to be on Effexor any longer. I probably could of quit taking it 1.5 years ago, but I didn't stop taking it because of the "if it isn't broke why fix it" attitude. Make sense? Now I need to get a First Class medical and need to know what to do to obtain it
 

My Flight Surgeon

Sr. Aviation Medical Examiner
1) READ THE GUIDELINES FROM THE FAA
2) STOP THE EFFEXOR, BE OFF FOR 60 DAYS, HAVE A LETTER FROM YOUR DOCTOR INDICATING YOU NO LONGER NEED THE EFFEXOR AND THE DATE YOU STOPPED, GET A FIRST CALSS MEDICAL AFTER THIS
 

Thomas King

New Member
My case is not typical, and advice I've received doesn't seem to apply. My amitriptyline was not prescribed for depression. The dose much lower than when it is used for depression or psychiatric issues, so I have no side-effects.

I am unclear how the special issuance process would work for someone without psych problems. I don't understand what a psychologist's exam would tell them.

With the blessing of my physician, I stopped the drug. We are both befuddled. I understand the doctor needs to write a letter in 60 days saying that my depression is under control, but I didn't have depression to begin with. So then what should the letter say instead?

Very Respectfully
 

sizlack9

Well-Known Member
Hello everyone!

I'd like to give a first hand experience that documents the process of obtaining a SI medical through this SSRI policy. For about 10 years now I have taken an SSRI that helps me with a condition other than depression.

I have been wanting to obtain my PPL for quite a while but have recently decide to bite the bullet and do whatever it takes ($$$)... I first consulted the FAA website and read the entire requirements for the SSRI SI;

https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/avs/offices/aam/ame/guide/app_process/exam_tech/item47/amd/antidepressants/

Read this ENTIRELY!!! There is a lot of critical information you must read here. It could possibly save you a great deal of time, stress, and money.

Next, I located my local HIMS AME. From researching the information, I knew a local AME would just have to defer me, so I contacted my nearest HIMS AME. He suggested I contact a local psychologist that could perform the tests required by the FAA before making an appointment with him. If I saw him first, he would just have to send me for the exact same testing. The doctor recommended two psychologists in the Bay Area that could perform the test.

The FAA requires that you take the CogScreen Evaluation (Aeromedical) and that a detailed report is issued by the doc. So far I am looking at $2,200 for the test and report from the doc. Hopefully that is all this is required. Be aware that the doc/FAA could require more testing beyond this that could significantly raise the cost of your psychological testing.

Another thing to consider, you will be required, at a minimum, to retake the CogScreen/Aeromedical test each year at the cost of apx. $2,200 for even a basic 3rd class medical as long as you are flying under the current FAA SSRI policy. For me, this is a price I am willing to pay, but consider this into your annual expenses if you wish to continue flying under this policy...

Anyway, the CogScreen is a whole day of testing which will be on December 12. I will update you with my experience and hopefully help guide another aspiring pilot through this process!
 
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