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12.04.23 – Flying and Over-the-Counter Medications

Flying and Over-the-Counter Medications

Monday, December 4, 2023

Can I safeguard my well-being and flight safety while using over-the-counter medications?

Consider some best practices.

  1. Never use any medication that has alcohol as an ingredient while you are working or within 8 hours of working. When a DOT/random test violation occurs with a positive alcohol test, the source of the alcohol is not considered, only that alcohol is present. Many over-the-counter cough medications have alcohol as an ingredient. Look for cough medications labeled ‘alcohol-free’, especially if you plan to take them during your duty hours.
  2. Avoid using over-the-counter medications/herbal supplements purchased in unregulated countries. Both herbal and over-the-counter medications are ‘unregulated’ in many countries. The label may be incorrect or incomplete and may contain ingredients that cause you to test positive for a controlled substance or compromise your ability to perform your safety-sensitive flight duties.
  3. For physician-recommended medication, be sure that your prescriber has a clear understanding of your safety-sensitive duties. Ask questions on how a medication will impact your ability to perform your duties as a Flight Attendant. Ask the prescriber, “Will I be able to take this medication while flying, or should I only take this medication when I am not flying?” If you find it difficult to talk to your doctor or prescriber about your safety-sensitive duties as a Flight Attendant, the Flight Attendant Drug and Alcohol Program has a downloadable wallet card outlining the  Flight Attendant Essential Job Functions.
  4. Never exceed the recommended dosage amount or the interval level for any medication, prescribed or over-the-counter.  More is not better!
  5. Do not self-medicate using a family member, loved one, or friend’s medication when feeling lousy. Keep this in mind! If called for a random/reasonable cause DOT test while on duty, after you ingested medication that is not your active prescription prescribed by your doctor, and the test returns as a positive test, the test is positive! Not worth taking a chance!

If you would like to have a confidential conversation with an APFA EAP committee member at your base, please call 1-833-214-2002.

Happy Holiday Season!

In Solidarity,

Marcus Recarte
APFA EAP Specialist 

Deborah McCormick
FADAP Coordinator

[email protected]

APFA Headquarters
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Euless, Texas 76040

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Phone: (817) 540-0108

Call APFA

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Phone: (817) 540-0108

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APFA Headquarters
1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

M-F: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Call APFA

Contract & Scheduling Desk
M-F: 7:00AM - 7:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Chat APFA

After-Hours Live Chat
M-F: 3:00PM - 11:00 PM (CT)
Sat-Sun: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)

APFA Events

Currently, no scheduled events...

APFA Headquarters
1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

M-F: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Call APFA

Contract & Scheduling Desk
M-F: 7:00AM - 7:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Chat APFA

After-Hours Live Chat
M-F: 3:00PM - 11:00 PM (CT)
Sat-Sun: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)

APFA Events

Currently, no scheduled events...

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