Commercial Airline Pilots & Mind-Altering Drugs
Medical records indicate that Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot who crashed the Germanwings plane in the French Alps, was on medications for depression, anxiety and panic attacks, including lorazepam [an anti-anxiety drug] that can have dangerous side effects, German newspaper Bild reported.
Mania, psychosis, hallucinations, depersonalization and suicidal and homicidal ideation. These all are documented side effects from 134 international drug regulatory agency warnings on the very drugs that commercial airline pilots are allowed to take. While not everyone taking these drugs will experience these side effects, what is certain, based on hundreds of drug warnings and studies, is that a percentage of the population will.
Andreas Lubitz, co-pilot of Germanwings flight 9525 blamed for purposefully flying the aircraft into the French Alps and killing all on board, had a long history of mental “treatment” and psychiatric drug use. According to German police investigators, numerous prescriptions for psychiatric drugs were found at Lubitz’s home, including antidepressants. His former girlfriend, who ended the relationship in 2014, also said he was in psychiatric treatment, according to Germany’s Bild newspaper.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a federal agency charged with protecting consumer safety, placed its most serious “black box” warning on all antidepressants citing suicidality in addition to other side effects on the drug labels including hallucinations, mania and a host of other abnormal behaviors. Incredibly, despite being fully aware of this, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reversed its 70-year ban restricting pilots taking antidepressants and other mind-altering psychiatric drugs from flying.
Does the FAA have a choice about whether to revisit its pilot psychiatric drug policy? Can the FAA be in direct contradiction with the FDA about the possible deadly consequences associated with psychiatric drugs? Not if the public has any say in the flying experience. Click here to read this article in full.