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Drugs - the legal kind

Article | Jul 31, 2012

Pilots are often asking why a given drug their regular doctor has prescribed does not appear on our list of “approved” medications. Well, here is the truth of the matter: The FAA does not give its approval of an FDA-approved medication until the drug has been available for one year. This is not an arbitrary and deliberately obstructive move on their part; the FAA wants to see how the medication reacts on the body when a large population is exposed, over and above what was established in the clinical trials mandated by that other federal giant, the Food and Drug Administration.

Answers for Pilots: Keep up with your meds

Article | Apr 01, 2012

We all enjoy the beauty of blossoming fruit trees each spring and the gradual transition of the landscape from brown to green. While our eyes delight in the flourishing scenery, our sinuses may complain. Headaches and congestion mark the onset of allergy season for many pilots. Some medications - even those purchased over-the-counter - have side effects that make them unsafe to take when flying. Double-check your allergy meds to be sure they are FAA-approved. Search AOPA's online medication database by the drug's trade name, generic name, type of medication, or the medical condition being treated to find out whether - and under what conditions - the FAA has approved it for pilots.

Fly Well

Article | Feb 01, 2011

How to reach cloud nine? Fly frequently, safely, basking in the glow of recognition of the higher life form you truly are—pilot. The phrase “cloud nine” is of questionable origin, but because I enjoy Bill Bryson’s writing, I’m going with his explanation: In 1806 an English pharmacist named Luke Howard developed the cloud classification that is still used today.

Answers for Pilots: Spring Allergies

Article | Apr 01, 2010

Trees budding, temperatures rising, sunshine stretching into the evening - it must be Spring! It's great being on this side of the summer solstice, enjoying the opportunity to be outdoors, again, especially when it involves doing some flying after work.

Member Guide

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2010

Your chance to advance GA In the almost 20 years I have been with AOPA, I have had the pleasure of meeting and talking with many of our members. Consistently, I hear how passionate our members are about flying, and that we share a common concern about the future of general aviation as we know it today.

Answers for Pilots: Hay fever

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2008

Are you one of the millions of people who sneeze their way through hay fever season, putting up with the itching and sniffing from mid-August until the first frost? The symptoms are mild, you say, and don’t slow you down, but they can be irksome. However, because you plan to fly, you don’t take any allergy medication for fear of using one that the FAA does not allow.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2007

Big Bopper's death still raising questions The music might have died in 1959, but the investigation continues. Forensic anthropologist William Bass, founder of the research facility at Knoxville's University of Tennessee Forensic Anthropology Facility, nicknamed the "Body Farm," has been hired by the son of J.P.

Guide to Member Services

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2005

FAA-accepted medications AOPA's Medical Certification department has compiled an extensive database of more than 200 over-the-counter medications and their FAA approval status ( medical/search_faa_meds.cfm). While these medications are generally allowed by the FAA, individual variables could render a medication inappropriate for flight, according to Gary Crump, AOPA's director of medical certification.

Member Guide

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2004

FAA-accepted meds It's hard to know if a medication that you're taking could affect your flying or if the FAA believes it could ... so how can you find out? AOPA's Medical Certification department has made it easy.

Answers for Pilots

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2003

Should you fly when you're on medication? In 1994, one man's battle to keep his medical certificate became the basis for a little-known but sweeping change in the federal regulations. Benton Bullwinkel had been diagnosed with two forms of mental illness — bipolar disorder (more commonly known as manic-depressive illness) and attention deficit disorder (ADD).