Humira and Ulcerative Colitis


Well-Known Member
In Jan 2009 I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. I was prescribed Lialda and than 20mg a day of prednisone to control the flares. Since then I’m unable to wean off the prednisone…if I do my flare ups returns. So my G.I. doc. wants to put me on Humira or Remicade. I can’t afford the Remicade infusions…So we opted for the Humira. Will the FAA accept the Humira for ulcerative colitis treatment?
Also I don’t have to renew my Medical Certificate until Sept 2011. Do I now have to reapply for a medical certificate or can I wait until Sept 2011? Does my medical condition currently make the medical certificate invalid? Will this medication and/or medical condition prevent me from obtaining 1st or 2nd class certificate? Will I have to get a Special issuances? If so, do I need one now or can it wait until Sept 2011 and specifically what documents will the FAA need from my G.I. doc?

Sorry about all the questions, I just want to do what’s right.
Thanks in advance.
1) You cannot fly until you receive a Special Issuance letter from the FAA.
2) Humira is approved for rheumatoid arthritis but I do not know if it is approved for UC (although as a general rule, if it is approved for one disease, it is approved for others too). That being said, you must be on it for more than 30 days before applying to the FAA.
3) You must submit copies of ALL of the medical records pertaining to the UC to the FAA in OKC.
4) Usually a SI is good for all classes of certificates. If you want it for a class above 3rd, ask for that when you send your request and medical records to the FAA. (If you need help with htis, we have a service that assists pilots in submitting requests to the FAA -
Wow, thanks for the quick reply.
Well it looks like I better get started on that 30 days min. requirement of Humira as soon as possible if I want to act as PIC anytime soon. I'll also get in touch with OKC just to make sure they wont have any issues with Humira.
Thanks for all the help and I'll keep you in mind when the time comes to start the paperwork.
Thanks again
Hey wingman, just wanted give you a few words of encouragment. I was diagnosed with UC in Feb 03. It is a tough condition to deal with but isn't the end of the world. It is more than possible to continue flying and I have not had any trouble getting or retaining a class 1 medical. I am not sure where you are at in your career but keep it up. Prednisone is a nasty drug, get with your doc and try to get off that as soon as the condition allows. As I recall, you can fly on it as long as you are not taking more than 20mg. The drug that has worked the best for me is mesalamine, I have used asacol and rowasa at seperate times. Anyway, just wanted to let you know there are a couple of us here with UC, let me know if you have any questions.
So I am thinking of getting this Humira too, but am kinda turned off by the confusion that I am having with all of this SI stuff.

Would I be able to talk to my AME with help on that? Or does he even have anything to do with an SI?
AME's who do a lot of physicals (more than 25 a month) are experienced enough with the FAA to walk folks through the process.