FAA lifts ban on pilots taking antidepressants while on duty

WASHINGTON (AP) -Some pilots who take antidepressants for mild or moderate depression will be able to take to the skies as soon as next week.

The Federal Aviation Administration is lifting its flying ban on pilots taking medication like Prozac. While it says the old rule was based on older versions that could drowsiness and other side effects, it says the medications have been updated and the safety risk has lessened.

The rule changed was also partly aimed at encouraging those with depression to be candid about their treatment. The FAA says a problem with the old policy was that some pilots kept their treatment a secret. It's offering an amnesty of sorts to pilots who disclose their diagnoses and treatment within six months.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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