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-   -   How much is too much? (https://www.pprune.org/medical-health/503655-how-much-too-much.html)

japandwell 25th Dec 2012 08:01

How much is too much?
I am going backto my medical soon Expired first class FAA. This time around I have a few minor issues. I am certain that I have heard that there is some sort of FAA policy that says that too many problems listed on that FAA questionaire are a negative factor. Common sense would say that that would most certainly depend ont about just what exactly the problems are.
What about the possibility of the FAA just saying that allthough these are minor problems, you still have too many. This resulting in investigation.

obgraham 25th Dec 2012 08:12


Common sense would say that that would most certainly depend ont about just what exactly the problems are.
Not an AME, but as far as I know, the FAA accept/reject process is strictly by the book. Depends completely on what the problems are, not just adding up how many hangnails you've had.

Flyin'Dutch' 25th Dec 2012 20:20

Problems are assessed on their merit; not on the number of problems you have.

Talk to your AME for further guidance.

japandwell 26th Dec 2012 07:08

Thanks guys. Had a few problems this time around.

gingernut 26th Dec 2012 17:40

The "average" person in the UK has about 5 problems "tagged" to their GP notes. (Rightly or wrongly.) In fact, seeing only 1 or 2 problems usually suggests that the patient has been "out of the system" for some time.

As my learned colleagues have suggested, the activity of those problems is more likely to evoke issues, rather than the total number themselves.

japandwell 29th Dec 2012 06:41

I have also been reading posts concerning neurontin. Does having history of taking neurontin for minor sciatica give cause for rejection? I did read that this would give cause for follow up information from the practicing Physician. I would have to go to my Doctor and request a letter stating dose, frequency etc.
Is there any more information out there concedrning what I should expect? Will this mean a rejection, and then some sort of grievence? Will I be able toget my medical right away,and then receive a letter from FAA asking me for a follow up?

obgraham 29th Dec 2012 07:05


Is there any more information out there concedrning what I should expect? ...Will I be able toget my medical right away,and then receive a letter from FAA asking me for a follow up?
For an FAA exam, the AME will either issue it at the time, reject at the time, or submit it to higher review, depending on the problem.

As I am not an AME, here's my advice in such a case: Make an appointment with an AME just to discuss your case. Best choice is to use an AME other than the one you hope to certify with. Do NOT fill in the Form 8500 application. Get the official scoop on whether or not you can be certified, and pay for that visit, rather than relying on internet advice. If he tells you additional information is needed, round that up and have all your stuff in order when you go for the real exam.

homonculus 30th Dec 2012 14:51

I am not an AME but there has previously been a thread to the effect that gabapentin or neurontin is not compatible with a UK medical. I am afraid I do not know about the FAA

My understanding is that this is only for the duration of administration

I must say this is an unusual drug for mild pain and also for sciatica, and I would not consider this to be common in the UK. As such you may find the AME is rather more interested in the underlying disease. However if the sciatica is better and you are off the drug you should be OK

Good luck

herman the crab 31st Dec 2012 07:49

My FAA medical has been allowed to expire on several occasions as I refuse to pay the UK rip off rates to renew and wait until I am in the USA to do it. Never had it refused, including the time I had reported a rather rare illness. Took all the info I could find about the illness and gave it to the AME. Class 1 issued without a problem but was warned the FAA might follow up but they never did.

japandwell 1st Jan 2013 07:24

More Medical
I had an experience where I did not let my medical expire,and I did have surgery where I was prescribed a narcotic pain killer. My medical was issued right away,and FAA did follow up. They needed a letter from my treating physician stating that I no longer am prescribed the medication, and the duration and dosage. That was all.

gingernut 1st Jan 2013 21:33

"History of" taking neurontin (gabapentin) and "currently taking" neurontin are very separate things.

It seems that the authorities currently take a dim view on stuff that affects the central nervous system, which is a shame, 'cos they can be very effective if prescribed proportionately.

Tell your pain prescriber that you fly planes.

Flyin'Dutch' 8th Feb 2013 08:30

You seem very anxious about very specific issues with your medical; what is the underlying problem?

Have you spoken to your AME and got the advice from the person who is actually going to see, examine and make a decision about your eligibility to assess you?

No, there is no slit lamp but what would be the issue if there was?

homonculus 9th Feb 2013 14:53


Narcotics and neurotoxin are different drugs. Your posts are confusing me.

Far more worrying is the slit lamp discussion. Regardless of whether there is a slit lamp examination or not, lying to obtain a medical or failing to disclose is a serious offence - called offense in the USA. As a pilot you must be aware of this so surely your advice to your 'student' must be to own up. What on earth is an educated decision???????

Depending on the relationship between you and the student it might also lay you open to criminal prosecution. I know nothing of US law in this respect but our experience of what the Feds do to British citizens who commit offences even if not in the USA suggests you might be incarcerated in the middle of the Arizona desert for 200 years

obgraham 9th Feb 2013 16:31

At least in the US, use or non-use of the slit lamp has little to do with the diagnosis, and everything to do with the practitioner.
It's years since I saw an MD ophthalmologist here without having a slit-lamp exam. It's just the way they do a complete exam, since you are sitting in their chair and they have it hanging in front of them.
Less so for optometrists.

The desert here in Arizona this last few weeks has been very pleasant indeed!

japandwell 17th Nov 2013 04:00

I had surgery again, and the Docs prescribed Oxycodone, and Diazepam which is a muscle relaxer. Common sense again, not doing any flying until I am off the drugs and recovered for at least a few weeks.
I am reading that these drugs are completely disqualifying, but I take that to mean "can't take while flying" or disqualifying if taken for a reason the FAA would consider disqualifying.
Is there any time limit stated as to how long a pilot has to off Diazepam and Oxycodone before fit to fly? I know Oxycodone is not so long, but how about Diazepam? As long as patient was taking it? I took it for 2 weeks, so 2 more weeks before I may pass an FAA physical?

Loose rivets 17th Nov 2013 06:16


but how about Diazepam?

I've written a hell of a lot about benzodiazepines in the past. Can't go over it again, but imagine an angel sitting on one shoulder, and the devil on the other . . . that about sums it up. Get off the stuff as soon as possible, and take care . . . very great care, during that period.

Radgirl 17th Nov 2013 20:05

Sorry loose rivets, don't know your concerns but I assume you refer to dependency. We use these drugs for specific reasons around operations and they are very effective. Short term use is fine and you shouldn't scare your fellow pilots

They have a fairly long duration in the body so you need to be off for a week before considering your body to be free.

japandwell 18th Nov 2013 04:59

Radgirl, Thanks for that clarifying response. I would like to rune a few more past you later.
Aslo, Neurontin 100 mg 2 years ago for "dysesthesias" which doctor said was referrable to. This was likely sciatica which is gone. I believe that means the 100 mg Neurontin is no longer an issue. Correct?

Radgirl 18th Nov 2013 20:45


I am not an AME but my understanding is this drug is not permitted due to its side effects. The drug is well gone from your system and there should be no current issues. Dysaesthesia is a strange word to use for pain from sciatica. Sciatica is OK but beware the term dysaesthesia can be associated with some exotic neurological issues. Assuming you have none of these I would think sciatica will cause less hassle - but always tell the truth!

japandwell 4th Feb 2014 02:42

I was defferred by my FAA Medical Examiner!! He said that he is going to recommend that I pass, but due to my not having a medical for a long time, and having at some medical issues.

My concern is that my conditions were not actually disqualifying, and I did bring documentation to the exam. The Doctor is telling me that all should go well,and I should pass when the FAA sees everything.

Is this normal for an AME to defer for a simple back surgery, even if I am OK?

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