Sleep Aid

mcbenwa

Well-Known Member
Is Ambien or Ambien CR an allowed prescription for commercial pilots. Schedule goes from working all days to working all mornings and I can't sleep very well sometimes.
 

gnu135

New Member
Is it legal? Im not sure I do know that is some strong stuff. Make sure you have plenty at least 12 hours between before hoping into a cockpit. I work nights all week then switch to days on the weekends. I sometimes take tylinol pm. If you can try and get to sleep at the same time two days in a row and sleep for 8 hours. Thats the best thing you can do to get in to a rythem.

Call up your medical examiner if you really want to know about Ambien. Or be like the military. Dont ask dont tell.
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
gnu135, just playing devil's advocate here, and considering we have a volunteer Senior AME who answers the questions posted in "Ask A Flight Surgeon", let's go ahead and let Dr. Forred give an official answer for the gentleman.

Especially since Tylenol PM was mentioned. Which, according to a previous post by Dr. Forred, is absolutely verboten for airmen.
 

My Flight Surgeon

Sr. Aviation Medical Examiner
Ambien can be used no more than 2 times a week. You must wait for 24 hours after taking it before flying. It's use is limited to "long-haul" (trans-Atlantis, trans-Pacific) pilots. You can use Sonata, Rozarem and Lunesta with a 12 hour wait. It is again limited to the same long-haul group of pilots. Ambien-CR is too long acting and is not allowed.

Tylenol PM has Benadryl and is also not allowed.

As far as "don't ask, don't tell", that is nice until there is an accident/incident and they collect a urine/blood specimen from you. It was nice having you as a pilot one time.
 

My Flight Surgeon

Sr. Aviation Medical Examiner
No to restoril. It is a benzodiazepine and besides being a DQ drug, it will turn your drug screen positive too. Bad deal drug.
 

TZnightpilot

New Member
Hi Doc,

I used to be one of those back-side-of-the-clock, around the world pilots until getting furloughed a few years back.

In the meantime I have been flying a desk.

I developed bouts of occasional insomnia and was put on Lunesta by my Primary Care Doc.

Also - I have kept up my Class 1 Medical since leaving and have reported the Lunesta prescription every 6-months.

Am I correct that for Lunesta you only need 12 hours from use to cleared to fly?

The reason I ask is I will be returning to flying shortly.
 

SpiraMirabilis

Possible Subversive
I was going to start a new thread but this one is kind of in line --

I know Melatonin (3mg) is an "OK" (according to the FAA) form of sleep aid. How about chamomile tea? It does contain benzodiazepines.
 

LB80107

New Member
Still getting conflicting information, exactly what sleep aids are approved for airline pilots holding a First class medical.
 

wheelsup

Well-Known Member
I know Melatonin (3mg) is an "OK" (according to the FAA) form of sleep aid. How about chamomile tea? It does contain benzodiazepines.
Interesting question I'd like to know the answer as well.

LB80107 have you tried melatonin? It's a natural vitamin that your body generates on its own. I like to stay away from manufactured drugs, doctors over prescribe these days.
 

BajtheJino

I'm looking at you.
It does contain benzodiazepines.
No true.
Binding studies of apigenin on synaptosomal membrane, prepared from bovine cerebral cortex, showed significant affinity for the central benzodiazepine receptor. Apigenin competitively inhibited the binding of flunitrazepam, a benzodiazepine receptor ligand, with a Ki of 4 µM, and had no effect on muscarinic receptor,
1-adrenoceptors and on the binding of muscimol to GABAA receptors.18 The authors concluded that apigenin is a ligand for the benzodiazepine receptors, exerting anxiolytic and slight sedative effects but not being anticonvulsant or myorelaxant.
http://www.uspharmacist.com/oldformat.asp?url=newlook/files/Alte/ACF2FB5.cfm&pub_id=8&article_id=100
 

wheelsup

Well-Known Member
So in English does that mean drinking herbal teas won't get you in trouble with the FAA?

By herbal I mean "legal" in the US...
 

germb747

Well-Known Member
Well, that pretty much rules out ambien as a useful sleep aid if you have to wait 24 hours, but if there are legal sleep aids that are effective and only require 12 hours, I just might look into them.

All too often, I fly an 18 hour duty day and then get released for 24 hours. Naturally, by the time I get to the hotel, I'm tired so I go to bed for the normal 8 hours. When I wake up, I have 16 hours before my subsequent 18-hour duty day even starts. As the body clock would have it, 16 hours goes by before I'm even tired again, and then it's time to go to work. 24 hour layover really suck; they should be outlawed. I'd rather have just 12 off.
 

germb747

Well-Known Member
Is Ambien or Ambien CR an allowed prescription for commercial pilots. Schedule goes from working all days to working all mornings and I can't sleep very well sometimes.
so the myth is busted! Ambien CR, in fact, does not stand for "crew rest"! :D
 

BajtheJino

I'm looking at you.
So in English does that mean drinking herbal teas won't get you in trouble with the FAA?

By herbal I mean "legal" in the US...
Drink tea.
Benzo's are man made so they're not going to be in the tea you buy at the grocery store-unless you shop behind the grocery store...
 
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