Healthcare has improved by leaps and bounds in only the last fifty years. The world was able to eradicate many dangerous viruses and diseases, while also finding treatments for other health problems that were considered hopeless cases. Even those who have mental health issues can have some relief from different medications that can drastically improve their quality of life, such as those with anxiety and depression. However, there are also times when having a condition or taking the pill needed to treat it can disqualify someone from engaging in an event or performing a job. For example, can antidepressants be a factor for getting employed?
While in previous years, there were no approved anti-depressants under the DOT’s criteria. Fortunately, however, they have expanded their qualifications and the following medications have been looked upon more or less favorably by the DOT: Celexa, Lexapro, Prozac, and Zoloft. The aforementioned drugs are all SSRI-type medications, which have been found to be safer than previous medications. Wellbutrin or Bupropion is also a pill that has been considered on a case by case basis.
Can A Truck Driver Take Antidepressants?
The Department of Transportation is responsible for approving any prospective persons who want to become truckers for a business. As such, they require each of these applicants to pass medical exams, both physical and psychological. After all, driving through several hours of the day or night can have major effects on a person’s health and mental wellness, so they need to be screened to find out if they can handle these stresses. Along with physical and mental aptitude, they also take a look at any prescription medications that a person may be taking for a medical condition.
How to Pass your DOT
It often happens that a truck driver may develop depression of varying severities after they begin their job. Limited social interaction, the exposure to triggers of anxiety and irritation such as long hours and tight schedules, and home or family difficulties can greatly affect a person’s psyche. In fact, about 13% of drivers in the US will suffer some level of depression if they haven’t already, and most of them do not seek treatment. This is because any perceived inability for a person to do their job will likely delay their approval or their medical certifications. Some stigma with mental illnesses sadly also impacts company’s decisions to hire someone. Hence, many truckers will try to deny or ignore their depression. Antidepressants have also had a history of being seen as dangerous drugs on the road, as some of them have side effects like drowsiness that can be dangerous when driving.
While it would seem like hiding your meds or condition will be better for your employment, it will still be found out in the long run. It would be advised that you get medical clearance from a practitioner or examiner who has had experience working with DOT regulations and who can vouch in favor of your behavior and well-being in spite of the medications. Also, maintaining your mental health by getting as much social interaction as possible, calling family and loved ones, and having a coping mechanism to deal with stress can help you gain a more favorable impression as a possible employee.
DOT Disqualifying Medical Conditions
Due to the nature of driving itself, some people with certain medical conditions are not allowed to drive. Those who present with vision and hearing loss or changes are automatically disqualified given the dangers it poses to being on the road. Having epilepsy or using insulin can also be a cause for concern, as the former could have onsets of seizures while driving while the latter will need a dose for specific intervals, a demand which may not be met given the demanding schedule.
Disqualifying Conditions for Truck Drivers
People with heart disease or hypertension may not be disqualified, but they must re-take the physical each year to get proper certification. Those who have respiratory conditions as well may need to be evaluated to see how severe the problem is, and persons missing a limb can still drive if they pass a Skill Performance Test. Even persons with mental illnesses, like the aforementioned depression, could be approved depending on the severity and whether the medical examiner deems them fit.
DOT Approved Medications
Unfortunately, there is no official list that will detail exactly what the DOT would approve or disqualify, as many of the medications are subject to case by case approval, but a number of pilots and drivers had given their personal experience and input to create a customer list that is linked to the picture below.
What Drugs are Appropriate for Use?
While they may say ‘approved,’ again, there is no guarantee, and along with the medication will come the consideration of your medical exams for the severity of your condition. Whether it is safe for you to take the drug while driving will depend on the dose you are required, the side effects of the drug, and even the time of day you need to take it.
If you have any plans on becoming a truck driver, then there are several regulation tests you need to pass, especially the medicals. Your mental and physical health needs to be checked to make sure you’re fit for the long hours and loneliness that often comes with the job. However, some people may develop or already have depression as they’re employed, and many find difficulty getting approved once this fact comes to light. This is because depression can be detrimental to a person’s quality of work, and antidepressants may have certain side effects that could render a person less efficient.
However, if you can make sure that you keep yourself medicated and healthy while you’re working, and your medical examiner can tell as much, then you still have a chance of being accepted as a trucker. Hiding the fact will not work in your favor as you could be found out to be withholding medical information, which will not look good on your record. If you’re looking for places to get antidepressants for cheap, affordable prices, then check our recommended top online vendors here.