Many times, AOPA becomes aware of new medications on the market when members call or email the staff to check on their acceptance status with the FAA. As a result, there are several medications this month that I want to bring to your attention. The first is Alvesco (ciclesomide), a corticosteroid inhalation aerosol used to prevent asthma symptoms. The FAA allows this medication for flying provided there are no adverse side effects.
Effient (prasugrel) is a platelet inhibitor that is fairly new on the market and therefore is not yet allowed by the FAA. Jalyn is a new drug that combines two medications, Flomax (tamsulosin) and Avodart (dutasteride), that are frequently prescribed together to treat the symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy (enlarged prostate), a common condition in older men. Flomax relaxes the muscular structure near the prostatic urethra to allow the free flow of urine, while Avodart blocks the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, a process that causes the prostate gland to increase in size. The FAA needs only a status report from the treating physician that there are no adverse side effects with the use of the drug.
Patanase (olopatadine) is an antihistamine used to treat seasonal allergies. Because of the potential for sedating side effects, the FAA has placed a 48-hour restriction on flying after using this drug.
Simponi (golimumab) is a human monoclonal antibody used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. The FAA remains fairly conservative when considering these types of drugs, although Rituxan (rituximab) has been allowed by the FAA on a case by case basis. For now Simponi remains in the “non-allowed” category.
Finally, a new drug for diabetes, Victoza (liraglutide) was just approved by the FDA in January 2010, and joins a growing number of new oral and injectable drugs to treat Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Victoza targets beta cells in the pancreas to stimulate insulin secretion, thereby lowering blood sugar. Per FAA policy, this drug won’t be considered for use while flying until it has been on the market for one year, so we may see the current “non allowed” status change sometime next year, barring any surprises after it’s been prescribed in the general population.
These meds have been added to the AOPA medications database for your convenience. If you have a question about a drug not included in the database, contact the Medical Certification specialists and we can get you the lowdown on the drug.
November 3, 2010