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  1. #1
    Road Train Member Wedge's Avatar
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    Will Prescription Medication May Disqualify Me?

    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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  3. #2
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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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  5. #3
    Road Train Member kickin chicken's Avatar
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    The DOT Physical For CDL

    The Department of Transportation will require you to take and successfully pass a physical and provide proof with a ‘Medical Examiner’s Certificate’. Federal law requires CDL holders to receive periodic physical examinations, called a “Department of Transportation Medical Examination”, to ensure the ability of the driver to safely operate a commercial vehicle. Trucking companies and truck drivers typically refer to the ‘Medical Examiner’s Certificate’ as a ‘DOT medical card’. Please review all the physical requirements defined by the US Department of Transportation:

    • You must have 20/40 correctable vision in each eye. Glasses or contact lenses are permitted.
    • You cannot be a diabetic on needle-injected insulin; diabetes controlled through a diet or oral medication is permitted.
    • Your blood pressure must be under 160/100. Prescription medication to control blood pressure is permitted.
    • Your blood sugar level must be under 200.
    • Use of a Schedule 1 drug, amphetamine, narcotic or any other habit forming drug is not permitted.
    • If you have a current diagnosis of cardiac insufficiency, collapse, congestive cardiac failure or any other cardiovascular disease you will be required to provide the Medical Examiner with a stress test (needs to be performed within the last 12 months) along with a release from your physician stating that you can drive a commercial motor vehicle without restrictions.

    Other factors or conditions which could prevent you from obtaining the required DOT clearance include: sleep apnea, recent back injury, recent major surgery, a current hernia, or recent workmen's compensation claims. If you have questions about your medical health, please consult your physician before beginning the training program.
    In conjunction with the DOT physical, CDL drivers are required to take random drug screens throughout the drivers’ employment in the trucking industry. The DOT drug screen will detect the usage of illegal narcotic drugs including marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates and phencyclidine (PCP).
    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-regul...cal/faqs.aspx?

    Best to You!!!

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  7. #4
    Road Train Member Wedge's Avatar
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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?

  8. #5
    Road Train Member kickin chicken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wedge View Post
    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?
    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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  10. #6
    Road Train Member Wedge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kickin chicken View Post
    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.
    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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  12. #7
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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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  14. #8
    Road Train Member thelastamericanhippy's Avatar
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    Those are some serious possible side effects !!??

  15. #9
    Road Train Member Wedge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Injun View Post
    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.
    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.

  16. #10
    Road Train Member kickin chicken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wedge View Post
    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.
    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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