Will Prescription Medication May Disqualify Me?

Discussion in 'Trucking Industry Regulations' started by Wedge, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. Wedge

    Wedge Road Train Member

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    I have been all over the regulations regarding anti-seizure medication when it comes to driver qualifications. My question is if someone had surgery to remove a brain abscess and was put on anti-seizure medicine as a simple precaution, are they disqualified from driving or can they receive a waiver? I had this procedure done over 20 years ago. The abscess was the direct result of an injury caused by a car accident years earlier (not my fault by the way). I have yearly examinations by my neurologist and PCP and I am allowed to drive what ever I want.

    Eliminating the use of the medicine would be the answer in the regulations, but it seems to be slanted toward those with epilepsy.

    I think my situation is more the exception than the rule. I would really like to know if there is any chance of a waiver/exemption in this situation?
     
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  2. Injun

    Injun Road Train Member

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    Almost anything can be waivered. If you have never had a seizure disorder and the medication does not interfere with your ability to perform safety-sensitive functions, you may have to get your doctor to sign a form stating such. You have been taking it for 20 years. You and your doctor should (I hope) know by now what its effects on you are.

    Have you ever had a seizure? Is the medication even still necessary? Was it given because of the location of the abscess, or just for GP? Just a few nosy questions, that's all. You don't have to answer if you don't want to.
     
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  3. kickin chicken

    kickin chicken Road Train Member

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    If your medication is not a "schedule 1 drug, amphetamine, narcotic or any other habit forming drug", then you would be eligible for a DOT medical card and CDL.


    This link offers some very helpful information, including info on waivers:

    http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/topics/medical/faqs.aspx?

    Best to You!!!
     
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  4. Wedge

    Wedge Road Train Member

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    Injun- Thanks for getting back to me. The reason for the med is pure precaution. I've never had a seizure. I'm sure both of my doctors will be happy to document that I'm cleared to drive. Is it still necessary to take? Probably not, but weening off of the med is going to be costly in doctor visits seeing that I'm in between insurance companies right now. I don't have the money to throw at it.

    Kickin chicken- The med is Tegretol. From what I understand, it doesn't fall into the "forbidden" grouping, but it is listed as an anti-seizure medicine.

    Here's where the trouble began. While I was waiting for state sponsorship so that I could attend a CDL school, I began studying my motor vehicle manual and exercising. I passed the tests for my CDL permit, and then went to get my D.O.T. physical done. Listed the medication on the long form. Passed with flying colors and got the med card. I presented my long form and permit to one of the 2 schools I had in contention and they refused to allow me into the program. The school's position was that I was "not hire-able". The other school doesn't see it as a problem.

    Should I have my doctors formulate some type of letter, or should I wait until I'm asked to produce one?
     
  5. kickin chicken

    kickin chicken Road Train Member

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    It is hard to determine your circumstances w/o seeing your DOT long form. I would suggest that you get at least 3 pre hires, with companies that you want to work for, prior to enrolling in any school. A trucking school can accept you, but, that does not mean that you would be eligible for hire.
    They can mislead you into getting the training and not worry about job placement upon graduation.
     
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  6. Wedge

    Wedge Road Train Member

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    The school will not allow me to begin any training until I have a minimum of 2 pre-hires on the table. That's in the works as we speak (type). And because there is a state agency paying the bill, the training school has guidelines it must follow when it comes to the training of sponsored students. I just want assurance that I'm doing this right and I've got all the bases covered. I don't want to waste anyone's time if this isn't going to happen.

    My health history is actually very good with the exception of the surgery. The doctor doing the exam made reference to the prescription, but it didn't seem to phase her. Being in construction for the last six years has kept me in decent shape so that may have been a contributing factor. After the exam was over she signed the form and away I went. It took 5 minutes for what had just happened to sink in. Being that was my first D.O.T. I figured that the circumstances surrounding the med usage were deemed "acceptable". If my physical condition was poor, the outcome my have been different.

    So..... think I should just roll with it for now and deal with it as it comes? Sounds like the worst thing that could happen is that there could be a delay in the hiring process.
     
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  7. Injun

    Injun Road Train Member

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    KC has the right idea re prehires. You are on the right track. If the company's safety guy wants a letter from your doc, that's the time to get it. For now, you already have your med card. The refusing school can go pound sand. Not everybody is a perfect physical specimen.
     
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  8. thelastamericanhippy

    thelastamericanhippy Road Train Member

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    Those are some serious possible side effects !!??
     
  9. Wedge

    Wedge Road Train Member

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    I tend to agree. I should keep the ball moving forward and deal with it as it comes. The only thing that bothers me (and it's small issue) is that I might end up with an outfit that wasn't on the top of my list. I guess newbes can't be too particular.

    Is there such a thing as overkill regarding how many applications I send out?

    With all this time I have on my hands, I could send apps out to quite a few companies. Will it hurt me down the road if I decide after a while (12 mos.) to leave my starter company and then move on to a company that also offered me a pre-hire when I was fresh out of school? I'd like to think there would be an open invitation to come on board.
     
  10. kickin chicken

    kickin chicken Road Train Member

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    Exactly, do your homework now while you have the chance. The more applications and research you do will insure that you start your career out on the right foot, per say. This also gives you some goals and direction for your future.

    All the Best!!!
     
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