Friendly Skies

Pilots Can Now Take Antidepressants

Depression will no longer cost pilots their licenses. The FAA has changed its longtime policy to allow pilots to fly while taking prescribed antidepressants, though only pilots with mild to moderate depression who have already undergone a year of treatment will not be grounded under the new rules. “We need to change the culture and remove the stigma associated with depression. Pilots should be able to get the medical treatment they need so they can safely perform their duties," the FAA said in a statement. The policy comes with a careful set of restrictions, however, and only four common antidepressants—Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, or Lexapro—will be allowed. The FAA decided these four drugs don't have side effects that would get in the way of a pilot’s duties.