Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners
Pharmaceuticals (Therapeutic Medications)
- Code of Federal Regulations:
- Medical History: Item 18.h., High or low blood pressure.
The applicant should provide history and treatment, type of medication, purpose, and duration of use. Issuance of a medical certificate is dependant on current blood pressure levels and whether the applicant is taking anti-hypertensive medication. The Examiner should also determine if the applicant has a history of complications, adverse reactions to therapy, hospitalization, etc.
- Aeromedical Decision Considerations:
- Protocol: N/A. See Hypertension Worksheet (PDF).
- Pharmaceutical Considerations
- Medications acceptable to the FAA for treatment of hypertension in airmen include all Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved diuretics, alpha-adrenergic blocking agents, beta-adrenergic blocking agents, calcium channel blocking agents, angiotension converting enzyme (ACE inhibitors) agents, and direct vasodilators.
- Use of beta-adrenergic blocking agents are now allowed with insulin, meglitinides, or sulfonylureas.
- Centrally acting agents (such as reserpine, guanethidine, guanadrel, guanabenz, and methyldopa are NOT acceptable to the FAA.
- The Examiner must defer issuance of a medical certificate to any applicant whose hypertension has not been evaluated, who uses unacceptable medications, whose medical status is unclear, whose hypertension is uncontrolled, who manifests significant adverse effects of medication, or whose certification has previously been specifically reserved to the FAA.