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General News    H4'ed 7/14/10

SSRIs Render Unfriendly Skies

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The documents Fiddaman received show consideration of a 2003 study of aviation accidents that found SSRIs in 61 pilot fatalities between 1990-2001, in which the psychological condition and/or the drug use was determined to be the cause, or a factor in 16 of the accidents, or 31%.

However, there was no mention of a later November 2006 study titled, "Pilot Medical History and Medications Found in Post Mortem Specimens for Aviation Accidents," led by Dennis Canfield, from the FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute, in the "Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine" journal.

For this study, toxicological evaluations were performed on 4,143 pilots involved in fatal aviation accidents during the period between January 1, 1993, through December 31, 2003, to identify all pilots found positive for medications used to treat cardiovascular, psychological, or neurological conditions.

The evaluations found one-hundred dead pilots with SSRIs in their systems including forty with Prozac, twenty-six with Zoloft, twenty-one with Paxil, and thirteen with Celexa.

Less than a month after the new policy was announced, in "Aviation International News," on May 1, 2010, Matt Thurber reported that in a review of 127 accidents in the NTSB database since 1991, containing the word "antidepressant," only three were nonfatal.

"In 124 of those accidents, 211 people were killed," Thurber said. "In accident after accident, antidepressants ... were found in the tissues of dead pilots, and the pilots had falsified their medical certificate applications to show that they had never been treated for psychiatric problems."

Drug Free For All

No doubt in large part to Fiddaman's multi-year non-stop campaign to inform the world about the dangers of Paxil, pilots will still not be allowed to use it.

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Evelyn Pringle is an investigative journalist and researcher focused on exposing corruption in government and corporate America.
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