Disqualifying Prescription?

Topic 30750 | Page 1

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Mountain Matt's Comment
member avatar

So, I'm on a couple of meds to help prevent migraines: One is a beta blocker that lowers blood pressure (Nadolol)--that doesn't seem to be a problem.

The other is Topiramate, which is sometimes used to control seizures such as from epilepsy, but is also well-documented as a migraine-preventative. See this description on WebMD: Topiramate

However, the FMCSA says, "Any anti-seizure medication used for the prevention of seizures is disqualifying." FMCSA

My question is: Will my use of Topiramate to prevent migraines disqualify me medically? Technically, the FMCSA quote says the use of an anti-seizure medication used for the prevention of seizures is disqualifying, but I'm not using it for that.

Beyond, getting input from you good folks, how do I go about getting info about this? I am pretty close to making my transition, but it would involve quitting my job, giving up my apartment, etc., so I don't want to pull the trigger just to run into this wall. If the Topiramate will disqualify me, then I will work with my doctor to wean myself off it first. I assume having it in my history won't be a problem, as long as it's not a current med?

Thanks, as always, for any help you can offer!

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Is your doctor on the list of those that can certify drivers with a DOT physical? If so, he should have a definitive answer. Keep in mind that a company can have their own list of "banned medications" in addition to what is prohibited by the FMCSA.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi Matt,

A company will probably require you to provide them with a letter from your doctor clearing you to drive on that medication. This happened to me with a different med being used for a purpose not normally prescribed. I had to get my primary care doctor to send a letter and never heard boo about it again.

Beyond that, have you really tried to get your headaches under control with over the counter meds like Ibuprofen or Tylenol? A long time ago my doctor told me that the problem with OTC pain meds is the dosage is too low. For example, 2 tablets of Aspirin is a children's dose. He told me to take a grown up man's dose of 7 pills. You can take up to 2400 mg of Ibuprofen every day. But not each and every day because that will eventually give you digestive system damage. So, on his advice I mix it up with extra strength Tylenol and aspirin. My use is for arthritis.

Disclaimer: I'm not a qualified to recommend any treatment. You should consult your doctor if this makes any sense to you. I used to have severe headaches, but then the kids left home and my headaches stopped almost completely.

rofl-2.gif

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Mountain Matt's Comment
member avatar

Is your doctor on the list of those that can certify drivers with a DOT physical? If so, he should have a definitive answer. Keep in mind that a company can have their own list of "banned medications" in addition to what is prohibited by the FMCSA.

No, my doctor isn't on "the list." Seems like my best bet might be to find my way off this med anyway... You know how the docs get you on more meds over time anyway, lol. That way I can stay clear of the FMCSA and any company's list--I appreciate your reminder of that!

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Mountain Matt's Comment
member avatar

Hi Matt,

A company will probably require you to provide them with a letter from your doctor clearing you to drive on that medication. This happened to me with a different med being used for a purpose not normally prescribed. I had to get my primary care doctor to send a letter and never heard boo about it again.

Beyond that, have you really tried to get your headaches under control with over the counter meds like Ibuprofen or Tylenol? A long time ago my doctor told me that the problem with OTC pain meds is the dosage is too low. For example, 2 tablets of Aspirin is a children's dose. He told me to take a grown up man's dose of 7 pills. You can take up to 2400 mg of Ibuprofen every day. But not each and every day because that will eventually give you digestive system damage. So, on his advice I mix it up with extra strength Tylenol and aspirin. My use is for arthritis.

Disclaimer: I'm not a qualified to recommend any treatment. You should consult your doctor if this makes any sense to you. I used to have severe headaches, but then the kids left home and my headaches stopped almost completely.

rofl-2.gif

Bruce,

Lol... I do suspect my headaches will decrease once I can quit my current job. Yeah, the med in question is a preventative, but I suppose if I had more effective treatment, that would help get me away from the need for a preventative.

Good to know about the letter... Still, that seems to be wagering my future on the company accepting such a letter, and when I make this transition, it'll be a full-on jump. Hence me trying to clear every knowable obstacle first.

Thanks for the input!

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

You might want to just call the company you plan on going with and see if they have someone who would be qualified to answer that question for you not only in terms of DOT medical exam guidelines but also company policy. I think that would be the quickest and most accurate way to get an answer to your question.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Mountain Matt's Comment
member avatar

You might want to just call the company you plan on going with and see if they have someone who would be qualified to answer that question for you not only in terms of DOT medical exam guidelines but also company policy. I think that would be the quickest and most accurate way to get an answer to your question.

Good point. I just hope they can get me on with someone qualified to speak to that authoritatively, as I haven't found recruiters to be terribly knowledgeable even about simpler questions.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Bill P.'s Comment
member avatar

My question is: Will my use of Topiramate to prevent migraines disqualify me medically? Technically, the FMCSA quote says the use of an anti-seizure medication used for the prevention of seizures is disqualifying, but I'm not using it for that.

I saw a lawyer say somewhere that you can use the drug just as long as it isn't for seizures. That doesn't mean, of course, the some ignorant idiot that decides for the trucking company can't say otherwise.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Ignorant? How so?

Bill P.'s Comment
member avatar

Ignorant? How so?

Because the drug itself isn't dangerous to take when driving. It's banned as an anti-seizure drug because people that might have seizures shouldn't be driving a truck. In fact, people with epilepsy are permanently disqualified. However, the association with an anti-seizure drug can lead to an ignorant person, that doesn't think very well, to condemn the drug. This is the kind of thing I expect from the trucking industry. A doctor that knows their patient, and knows the drug, is far more likely to be competent when assessing situation.

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