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Medication Class — Antihypertensive (blood pressure-reducing) medications

Medication Class Description:

For more information on this topic search for "hypertension" in the Medical Articles section.

There are thousands of pilots flying on blood pressure medications (antihypertensives)

These include a wide variety of medications such as diuretics, beta-adrenergic blocking agents, ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, labetolol, prazosin, and minoxidil. The FAA does not automatically authorize use of these medications.   See Blood Pressure in the Medical Articles section for more specific information on this topic.

The agency requires that you demonstrate normalization of blood pressure and undergo a required evaluation to make sure you have no other disease.  Your aviation medical examiner (AME) can grant initial approval for using these medications if you hold a first, second or third class airman medical certificate.

Medications Within Class:

From the FAA Guide to Medical Examiners, "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. Centrally acting agents (such as, reserpine, guanethidine, guanadrel, guanabenz, and methyldopa) are not usually acceptable to the FAA. Dosage levels should be the minimum necessary to obtain optimal clinical control and should not be modified to influence the certification decision."   In the Spring of 2011, the FAA decided to no longer accept clonidine as a secondary agent for hypertension.

Please note that list is not all inclusive:

Beta blockers; ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, labetolol, prazosin, minoxidil  Cardura (doxazosin), Catapres (clonidine)-not allowed, Dibenzyline (Phenoxybenzamine) Hytrin (Terazosin) Micardis (Telmisartan)  Minipress, Minizide (Prazosin)

Loop, Thiazide, and other Diuretics:

Bumex (Bumetanide); Demadex (Torsemide); Edecrin (Ethacrynic acid); Lasix (Furosemide); Aldactone; Aldactazide (Spironolactone); Capozide, Demadex (Torsemide);  Diuril; Hydrochlorothiazide; HCTZ; Hydrodiuril; Oretic; Enduron; (Thiazides)  Dyazide; Maxzide; Moduretic (Combinations); Dyrenium (Triamterene);  Lozol (Indapamide); Mykrox (Metolazone);  Zaroxolyn; & Mykrox (Metolazone)

Beta-adrenergic blocking agents: 

 Blocadren, Timolide (Timolol)  Cartrol (Carteolol)  Cibenzyline (Phenoxybenzamine) Coreg (Carvedilol) Corgard, Corzide (Nadolol) Inderal, Inderide, Innopran (Propranolol)  Kerlone (Betaxolol)  Levatol (Penbutolol)  Lopressor, Toprol (Metoprolol)  Normodyne, Trandate (Labetalol)  Sectral (Acebutolol)
Tenormin, Tenoretic (Atenolol)  Visken (Pindolol)  Zebeta, Ziac (Bisoprolol)

Calcium Channel Blockers:

Adalat, Procardia (Nifedipine)  Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac (Diltiazem)
Cardene (Nicardipine)   Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Veralan, Tarka (Verapamil)
DynaCirc (Isradipine)  Norvasc, Lotrel (Amlodipine)  Plendil, Lexxel (Felodipine)
Posicor (Mibefradil)  Sular (Nisoldipine)

Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitors (ACEI):

Aceon (Perindopril Erbumine)  Accupril (Quinapril) Altace (Ramipril)  Capoten, Capozide (Captopril) Lotensin (Benazepril)  Mavik (Trandolapril)
Monopril (Fosinopril) Prinivil, Prinzide, Zestril, Zestoretic (Lisinopril)
Univasc, Unitrec (Moexipril)  Vasotec, Vaseretic (Enalapril)

A2RB (Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers):

Atacand (Candesartan);  Avapro;  Avalide (Irbesartan);
Benicar (Olmesartan Medoxomil);  Benicar HCT (Olmesartan Medoxomil + Hydrochlorothiazide);  Cozaar; Hyzaar (Losartan); Diovan (Valsartan);
Micardis (Telmisartan); Teveten (Eprosartan); & Teveten HCT (Eprosartan and Hydrochlorothiazide). 

Renin Inhibitor

Tekturna (aliskiren) is a new type of blood pressure medication that acts to directly inhibit a substance called renin.  This was recently approved by the FAA in Spring of 2008.