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Friday, November 30, 2007

Can Pilots fly When Using Antidepressants?

Had a patient once who was a airline pilot. He had to be admitted because of severe depression and started an antidepressant. Soon he wanted to get out of the hospital as fast as possible. Within one week he was back home. He was afraid the medical service of his airline would find out. That would cost him his job.

Most airlines don't allow their pilots flying when on antidepressants. In Australia they have a better attitude to this problem, because to my opinion it is better to have a pilot on antidepressants than a depressed pilot.

A study presented at a conference of the World Psychiatric Association in Melbourne on Friday found no statistical difference between medicated and non-medicated pilots in terms of their safety record.

This article in Yahoo News: Depressed pilots no risk -- as long as they're on their meds: study. agrees with my point of view.

"But importantly, there was a tendency for more accidents in the period prior to pilots going on to anti-depressants, but not once they were on them."

10 points for Australia.

1 comment:

MG said...

I Agree.
Tip: cave bruxism - control their teeth (see: Lurie et al, Aviat Space Env Med'07;78(2):137-9, or if you speek Dutch: