Tablets for fear of flying:
We no longer will prescribe these medicines April 2023
The doctors and nurses at this surgery have been asked on occasion to prescribe tablets such as diazepam, temazepam, lorazepam, clonazepam and zopiclone(z-drugs) for fear of flying or to aid sleep on long haul flights. Having considered local and national guidance we have decided that we will no longer be prescribing these drugs for these requests.
The following reasons have been considered before arriving at this decision:
The drugs listed above are central nervous system depressants and will slow normal reaction times. Although mid-air emergencies are rare, slower reaction times would place you and others in danger during an emergency situation.
Whilst most people find these drugs sedating a small number of people will develop paradoxical agitation and aggression. This can result in issues around behaviour and safety for other passengers.
Deep venous Thrombosis Risk
The use of CNS depressants may induce non-REM sleep. During this phase of sleep a person is less likely to move. Sitting down not moving for more than 4 hours has been shown to increase the risk of thrombosis whether in an airplane or elsewhere. Deep venous thrombosis is a serious potentially life- threatening condition.
The sedating effects of these drugs may slow down normal breathing. At 8000ft in oxygen levels drop to 90% and therefore suppression of breathing in some individuals may be harmful.
In some countries these controlled drugs are illegal and therefore may result in confiscation or trouble with local police if caught in possession.
Diazepam stays in your system for quite a while. If your job requires you to submit to random drug testing, you may fail this having taken diazepam
NICE guidance and prescribing guidance
According to the prescribing guidelines doctors follow (BNF) Benzodiazepines are contraindicated (not allowed) in phobia. Your doctor is taking a significant legal risk by prescribing against these guidelines. They are only licensed short term for a crisis in generalised anxiety. If this is the case, you should be getting proper care and support for your mental health and not going on a flight
For the reasons above we will no longer be providing Diazepam or similar drugs for flight anxiety.
Instead, please try one of these aviation industry recommended flight anxiety courses.
Fly And Be Calm™
Fly And Be Calm™ is an instant download and comes with a money back guarantee (Guarantee does not apply to app versions).6 MP3 tracks which include instructions, the fear removal tool and two hypnotic tracks. The least expensive option, takes very little time, works on the root cause of your problem. If you are not 100% happy you can get a full refund.
Easy Jet www.fearlessflyer.easyjet.com
British Airways: www.britishairways.com/en-gb/information/travel-assistance/flying-with-confidence
Virgin Atlantic https://www.lovefly.co.uk/
There are a number of books too that may be helpful in addressing this issue
- No more fear of flying: Allen Carrs
- How to overcome fear of flying – a practical guide to change the way you think about airplanes, fear and flying: Capt Ron Nielsen
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