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Prescription Medications from GP

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Prescription Medications from GP

Old 25th May 2024, 03:15
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Prescription Medications from GP

Hello everyone, fresh crew flying the line. I have recently discovered from various sources, either in person or online, that quite a number of pilots use various prescription medications.
Most appear to be prescribed by their local GP. The medications i am referring to are mainly sleep aids, ranging from natural options such as melatonin to prescribed ones such as Zolpidem/Ambien.

Out of curiosity I have looked through the guidelines under my aviation authority and read that use of either of these medications are disqualifying, unless prescribed directly from the AME. I could be wrong in a sense that there may be a window to use them e.g. on your days off or having a sufficient window/gap prior to flying like 24 hours. But how did said pilots managed to bypass this? is it because they are taking them during their days off when they are not flying thus they are allowed to? i know a number of pilots personally that take melatonin. I'd like to know as i have also considered taking melatonin for days coming off from jetlag or red eye flights.

Are these medication taken without the AME knowing? Does every medication we take require our AME to know even if it's for a short duration etc.

Asking this on a post because i wanted to know if i too am able to take medications that are prescribed from my own GP for whatever ailment that i am treating at the time.

Last edited by wallenpetik; 25th May 2024 at 22:06.
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Old 25th May 2024, 21:34
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Is melatonin a prescription medication in your country? Where I live you can walk into just about any store and buy melatonin off the shelf, it's sold almost everywhere in varying strengths up to 10mg. No prescriptions or doctors required.
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Old 27th May 2024, 13:24
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AMEs do not prescribe. I am not an AME but my understanding is that you cannot fly for 48 hours after starting any new drug. Certain drugs such as paracetamol, non steroidals and nasal spray decongestants are OK provided the underlying condition is not disqualifying but all other drugs should be discussed with your AME before flying. Certain drugs are simply not allowed including Melatonin which is presription only in the UK. This is because it often includes other chemicals which are prohibited. Very few drugs are allowed on your day off; the one exception is viagra

As always the only safe action is to discuss all drugs with your AME before taking them
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Old 27th May 2024, 15:24
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Originally Posted by Radgirl
AMEs do not prescribe. I am not an AME but my understanding is that you cannot fly for 48 hours after starting any new drug. Certain drugs such as paracetamol, non steroidals and nasal spray decongestants are OK provided the underlying condition is not disqualifying but all other drugs should be discussed with your AME before flying. Certain drugs are simply not allowed including Melatonin which is presription only in the UK. This is because it often includes other chemicals which are prohibited. Very few drugs are allowed on your day off; the one exception is viagra

As always the only safe action is to discuss all drugs with your AME before taking them
Thank you for the response, i strongly believe that the comments or pilots i know taking these sleep aids have not declared it to the AME, is this a common issue rampant in the industry? is it also due to the short half life that theres an inclination to get away with it or that AMEs do not check your GP's medical records
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Old 30th May 2024, 13:22
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The CAA allow Temazepam to help with circadium rhythm disruption but has to be used sparingly. My AME is okay with this once or twice a month, but it's obviously declared and you need to be very careful with dependency.

Zolpidem is not allowed in UK but seemingly is in EASA-land and some other places. Personally I think the UK approach is overly cautious (as demonstrated by melatonin being prescription only unlike almost everywhere else in the world). The occasional use of a low dose to help get a good night's sleep is surely lower risk than flying fatigued or on poor sleep, the latter of which happens far, far more often.

Taking something banned or not declaring could land you in real trouble if you're tested (in your hair will show up for 3+ months), especially if the test is because of an incident.

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