Blood Pressure Medications : Rules for Pilots

FAA Policies on Pharmaceuticals for Airmen

Apr 2014

Guidance is compiled and interpreted by professional pilots and physicians at from the 2014 AME Guide, FAA and FDA web data ( &, instructions specified in the Aeronautical Information Manual, Federal Air Surgeon Bulletins from 1999-2015, and 14 CFR Part 61 and Part 67 (the FARs).


  1. Code of Federal Regulations (Legal Extract)

  2. Medical History: Item 18.h., High or low blood pressure.
    The applicant should provide history and treatment, type of medication, purpose, and duration of use. Issuance of a medical certificate is dependant on current blood pressure levels and whether the applicant is taking anti-hypertensive medication. The AME should also determine if the applicant has a history of complications, adverse reactions to therapy, hospitalization, etc.

  3. Aeromedical Decision Considerations:

  4. Protocol: N/A. See Hypertension Worksheet.

  5. Pharmaceutical Considerations
    • Medications acceptable to the FAA for treatment of hypertension in airmen include all Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved diuretics, alpha-adrenergic blocking agents, beta-adrenergic blocking agents, calcium channel blocking agents, angiotension converting enzyme (ACE inhibitors) agents, and direct vasodilators.

    • Not acceptable to the FAA:

      • centrally acting agents (such as but not limited to clonidine, reserpine, guanethidine, guanadrel, guanabenz, and methyldopa).
      • A combination of beta-adrenergic blocking agents used with insulin, meglitinides, or sulfonylureas.
      • The AME must defer issuance of a medical certificate to any applicant whose hypertension has not been evaluated, who uses unacceptable medications, whose medical status is unclear, whose hypertension is uncontrolled, who manifests significant adverse effects of medication, or whose certification has previously been specifically reserved to the FAA.

Summary: This page reviewed the medical and legal aviation aspects of Blood Pressure Medications compiled from recent FAA and FDA reports.

This page discussed Blood Pressure Medications : Rules for Pilots

Reminder: use to familiarize yourself with aviation medical regulations and guidelines, but always discuss your specific situation with one or more AMEs before dedicating resources toward expensive clinical workups. Find an AME now