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Flying Prohibited If Taking Certain Medications

The FAA is reminding pilots that – under most circumstances – they are prohibited from flying while taking chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine, and that the restriction continues for 48 hours after the last dose.  The drugs are being touted as treatment for the COVID-19 virus.  The agency sets health standards for pilots and requires each possess a medical certification of physical fitness.

"Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine were both reviewed by the FAA Federal Air Surgeon when they entered the market and have long been considered generally incompatible for those performing safety related aviation duties," the FAA told news organizations.

The agency allows limited exceptions for pilots with arthritis to take small doses of hydroxychloroquine. It says pilots who take the medication but meet a number of other criteria may take an eye examination and receive a special certification.