Medication update: FAA changes Nyquil-use guidelines
I’ve commented before on the evolving policies coming out of Washington regarding the whole spectrum of medical certification, particularly in the area of medications usage. The only new update I have for you this month is on a commonly “self-prescribed” over-the-counter cold treatment, Nyquil. Nyquil is used to treat the symptoms of the common cold, upper respiratory infections, and allergies. This popular medication contains ingredients that can be sedating, and include dextromethorphan, pseudoephedrine, acetaminophen, and doxylamine.
The FAA’s guidelines for use of this medication have changed, and now require a wait time of 60 hours after the last use before flying. This is pretty conservative, even for the FAA, so I suspect that a recent aircraft accident investigation may have turned up the presence of high amounts of these compounds, and there was found to be a possible causal relationship that could have been a contributing factor. It’s also possible that medical literature has been published that the FAA caught wind of that points the finger at these particular ingredients as being more suspect for adverse side effects.
During the cold and flu season that we’re having this winter, just be aware that many of the over-the-counter products have the potential for side effects that may not be conducive to flying.
February 21, 2012