Details on SSRI previous Use for 2nd Class Certification

have been researching a bit looking at my options to become a commercial airline pilot and have been fumbling around trying to find clear answers on the FAA website. It seems to Me like I may be disqualified but I am not sure as I see that there are options for people who currently take SSRI’s regularly within the guidelines.


I haven‘t been taking the medication since 2018 and was on it for a little over 6 months and that was it. I have not been prescribed that medicine in a long time and have been doing great after therapy. Is there options for me to continue down this career path? 

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@Matthew Parsons
First, having been in an SSRI for more than six months at any time even in the distant past makes issuance significantly more difficult than less than six months.  It will require more examinations by more qualified practitioners.  That means a lot more cost which will not be covered by your health insurance.  See the link below for the general overview of the requirements and the links therein for the details.

That said, while it may be possible for you to get a Special Issuance medical certificate, given the clinical history of depression or other neuropsychiatric condition requiring the extended use of an SSRI (even several years ago), the fact that you have that certificate does not mean an airline will hire you.  There are a lot of considerations on their part about the potential for liability of anything bad happens involving you in the crew.  This got a lot more problematic after the Germanwings suicide-by-aircraft accident seven years ago.

My suggestion is to discuss your situation including your potential to be hired by an airline with an expert in this particular area like Dr. Bruce Chien, whom you can reach through his website  Do note that with an existing SI'd otherwise-disqualifying condition, it is much harder to be hired initially by an airline than for someone already employed under a union contract to stay in the cockpit after such a condition arises.  Also, note that a Second Class medical is not sufficient to fly for a commercial airline even as a co-pilot.  After the Colgan accident in 2009, Congress passed a law requiring airline co-pilots to hold a First Class medical.