Questions regarding anxiety medication and childhood ADD

I have been considering pursuing a career as a commercial pilot. I do not have a private pilot’s license, so I would be starting with zero experience.

There are just a few things that I am wondering about concerning the first-class medical certificate.

I am currently taking Zoloft (sertraline) for General Anxiety Disorder. It is my understanding that Zoloft is one of four SSRI medications that are permitted by the FAA for pilots. Despite this, it sounds like qualifying for a medical license is a lot more complicated when taking one of these medications. I am planning on speaking with a psychiatrist soon so that I can stop taking the Zoloft. I was prescribed the medication at a particularly stressful time in my life, and I no longer believe that it is necessary or beneficial. It sounds like I need to be off of it for 60 days before qualifying for the medical certificate, so I plan to do this pretty soon.

Also, as a young child, I was diagnosed with ADD. As I got older, it appeared that I grew out of it. More recently, I was told by a psychiatrist that the ADD symptoms that I had as a child were instead likely caused by anxiety. From what I’ve read, ADD and ADHD are both considered disqualifying conditions by the FAA. I’ve also read that the FAA is very forgiving when it comes to childhood diagnoses of these conditions since they are often misdiagnosed.

Are either of these circumstances likely to prevent me from acquiring a first-class medical certificate?


This is a question for an AME (Aviation Medical Examiner). EVERYONE’S situation is unique and whether or not someone else was successful (or not) doesn’t mean you will (or not).

This link will help you find an AME in your area: FAA-Designee Management System



Adam gave the best advice. Get a consult with a good AME (aviation career mentorship or another FB group) might be able to help find one near you.

AOPA has a medical attorney feature you can consult as well

Here is a link you can overview some of the processes the AME and FAA might use in your case.

Best of luck,
Chris F


As the others have said, only an AME can talk about your specific case. However, be prepared for a more lengthy process. It won’t be as simple as going in for an appointment and walking out with a medical. If you’re wanting to start flight training soon, get working towards getting your medical ASAP because it could take weeks to months.