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Aviat Space Environ Med. 2012 Sep;83(9):909-11.

Major depression and fitness to fly by different aviation authorities.

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  • 1Mehiliinen Airport Health Centre, Vantaa and Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Lappeenranta, Finland.


Safety issues are paramount in aviation and careful treatment protocols have been developed to ensure fitness to fly among aviators recovering from major depressive episodes (MDE). Aeromedical examiners (AMEs) do not necessarily treat depressive patients frequently, so they often consult psychiatrists; however, psychiatrists are rarely familiar with aviator treatment protocols. U.S., Canadian, and Australian regulations allow several choices among antidepressant drugs for flying pilots recovering from an MDE. Symptom stability times before the possible return to flying duties vary from 4 wk to 12 mo. So far European regulations have not allowed antidepressants, but the situation may change.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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