Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners

Pharmaceuticals (Therapeutic Medications)
Acne Medications

  1. Code of Federal Regulations:
    • First-Class Airman Medical Certificate: 67.113(c)
    • Second-Class Airman Medical Certificate: 67.213(c)
    • Third-Class Airman Medical Certificate: 67.313(c)

  2. Medical History:
    Topical acne medications, such as Retin A, and oral antibiotics, such as tetracycline, used for acne are acceptable if the applicant is otherwise qualified.

    For applicants using oral isotretinoin (Accutane), there is a mandatory 2-week waiting period after starting isotretinoin prior to consideration. This medication can be associated with vision and psychiatric side effects of aeromedical concern - specifically decreased night vision/ night blindness and depression. These side-effects can occur even after cessation of isotretinoin. A report must be provided with detailed, specific comment on presence or absence of psychiatric and vision side-effects. The AME must document these findings in Block 60, Comments on History and Findings. Some applicants will have to be deferred. For applicants issued, there must be a NOT VALID FOR NIGHT FLYING restriction on the medical certificate. A waiting period and detailed information is required to remove this restriction. The restriction cannot be removed until all the requirements are met. See Pharmaceutical Considerations below.

  3. Aeromedical Decision Considerations:
    See Item 40, Skin.

  4. Protocol: N/A

  5. Pharmaceutical Considerations:
    • Use of oral isotretinoin must be permanently discontinued for at least 2 weeks prior to consideration date (confirmed by the prescribing physician) and;
    • Eye evaluation must be done in accordance with specifications in 8500-7 and;
    • The airman must provide a signed statement of discontinuation that:
      • Confirms the absence of any visual disturbances and psychiatric symptoms, and
      • Acknowledges requirement to notify the FAA and obtain clearance prior to performing any aviation safety-related duties if use of isotretinoin is resumed.
Last updated: Tuesday, June 23, 2015