Sedatives : Rules for Pilots

FAA Policies on Pharmaceuticals for Airmen

Apr 2014

Abbreviated Briefing:
  • It is illegal for pilots to fly under the influence of sedating medications
  • Substance abuse and dependence requires airmen to be grounded


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 for Airmen
    • First-Class Airman Medical Certificate: 67.107
    • Second-Class Airman Medical Certificate: 67.207
    • Third-Class Airman Medical Certificate: 67.307
  2. Medical History and Convictions or Administrative Actions
  3. Aeromedical Decision Considerations
  4. Protocol: See Substances of Dependence/Abuse Protocol
  5. Pharmaceutical Considerations


Sedatives and Aviation do not mix. Similar to driving, there are legal ramifications for those who attempt to fly an airplane while impaired. It is illegal to fly whether the pilot knew or should have known s/he had ingested a sedating medication.


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

This page discussed Sedatives : 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