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Pilots May Reveal Depression Treatment

WASHINGTON (CN) - Pilots may be able to get special dispensation to take Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa or Lexapro, the Federal Aviation Administration has announced.

The agency will consider special-issuance medical certificates for first-, second-, and third-class airman being treated for depression with one of the four selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

In issuing its policy, the FAA noted that the four medications "help restore the balance of serotonin, a naturally occurring chemical substance found in the brain."

One reason for the lift of the ban is so pilots report their diagnoses and treatment and can be monitored.

Pilots have six months to report antidepressant use, and will not be subject to penalties, but will not be allowed to fly until the FAA is satisfied that they have been successfully treated, without side-effects that could affect flight safety, for a year.

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