Migraine Meds


New Member
Doc, I'm one of the OTS controller applicants that is in with the latest hiring pools. After reading through your posts, I'm thinking I might have an issue due simply to my ignorance.

About a year ago, I was having migraines (just bad headaches, no visual problems) that would last for about 3-4 hours and they would happen about once every 3-4 weeks. So, my personal doctor prescribed Topamax (50 mg a day). This was before I even thought about becoming a controller. Well, now that I'm in this process I'm reading that Topamax isn't an allowed med so I'm thinking this might be an issue going forward even if I'm off the Topamax now.

I haven't had a migraine for about 6-7 months and I don't have any side effects at all from the meds. So, if I switch the meds now, will I still be DQ for having taken Topamax for that length of time? Or, do I need to just provide all the proper paperwork?

Thanks for all you do here. It really is helpful.
Thanks for your reply. From reading your earlier post about migraines, it would seem that, with the proper documentation, I would still be eligible for a special issuance. But, would the fact that I've taken topamax previously eliminate me from that?
The issue is not the Special Issuance process for pilots (the reason for most of the posts here) but that you are applying for an FAA employed position where the rules are different.
Dr. Forred,

Thanks again for taking time to answer questions like these as it is very helpful. After your replies to my previous posts, I visited a neurologist who specializes in headaches to confirm my personal doc's diagnosis of migraines (I had never been to a specialist before as I never had reason to argue with my personal doctor). After listening to my symptoms, frequency, severity, etc, the neurologist said very directly, "you don't have migraines." He then went on to describe what I do have (some long word that I don't remember) and believes it will be alleviated if I just keep my traps stretched out and watch my posture. He also didn't have any issues with stating this shouldn't, in any way, effect my performance if hired by FAA.

I say all that to then ask you 2 questions:
1. Since I'm basically just having normal infrequent headaches that are preventable with some stretching, am I still going to have issues getting medical clearance (ie, will this still be considered, as you said in an earlier post, getting treatment for a neurological disorder?)
2. If I do stand a chance of getting approved, what type of paperwork, statements, records, etc should I take with me to the PEPC in case they ask any questions. (Please don't take the time to list out everything I need, I'm just looking for some idea.) After waiting nearly a year to get into this hiring phase, I just don't want to screw up at the last step if at all possible.

Thanks again for your help.
1) It sounds lik eyou will be a go now.
2) Take copies of the neurologist's evaluation in case the FAA wants to review records.