Interferon is used for the treatment of active Hepatitis B and C, HIV/AIDs and Multiple Sclerosis.
Interferon is widely documented to have a large number of side-effects. The majority of these side-effects are incompatible with safely undertaking flight duties.
Commonly experienced side-effects include: nausea, vomiting, dyspepsia, diarrhoea, raised serum amylase and lipase, headache, fatigue, dizziness, sleep disturbances; less commonly, thrombocytopenia, rash, alopecia1.
Interferon is also associated with psychiatric health problems including an increased risk of suicide, although some authors are not sure whether this is due to the medication or the underlying disease2. Hoofnagle and Seep noted that side-effects occurred in virtually all patients treated with peginterferon and ribavirin3.
A study published in AIDS Care in 2007 reported that a large number of patients treated with interferon developed neuropsychiatric side effects. All those affected reported that they became symptom free after cessation or completion of treatment4.
Therefore a requirement for, or treatment with, Interferon is disqualifying for aeromedical certification.
1. BNF No. 62 (September 2011)
2. Suicide Risk in Hepatitis C and During Interferon-alpha Therapy; Journal of Viral Hepatology; S. Socklingam, P.S. Links, S.E Abbey; 2011; 18(3); 153-60
3. Peginterferon and Ribavirin for Chronic Hepatitis C; Jay H. Hoofnagle, M.D., and Leonard B. Seeff, M.D.; N Engl J Med 2006; 355:2444-2451December 7, 2006
4. Influence of the type of pegylated interferon on the onset of depressive and neuropsychiatric symptoms in HIV-HCV co-infected patients; C. R. Fumaz, J. A. Muñoz-Moreno, A. L. Ballesteros, R. Paredes, M. J. Ferrer, A. Salas et al., Aids Care; Volume 19, Issue 1, 2007, pages 138-45, DOI: 10.1080/09540120600645539
We are currently recruiting a Flight Standards Officer to assist with our work overseeing air displays. More info a… https://t.co/tcJfsvfuuc
3 days ago
We have a great opportunity for someone with the right experience and skills to lead our drone policy team. Leading… https://t.co/ATxKYn4Wzw
4 days ago
Do you have experience of project management? Can you facilitate and lead on stakeholder workshops? If so, we may h… https://t.co/Hw5Y4qAitA
13 days ago
Read all @UK_CAA
New drone laws come into effect today as public demands regulation increase to ensure safer flying
30 July, 2018
Pilots urged to convert to 8.33 kHz radios following airspace incidents
27 July, 2018
CAA statement on passenger compensation during the current Ryanair strike
20 July, 2018
Read all News
More flights and fuller aircraft as UK air traffic continues to grow
27 July, 2018
Sharing the cost of recreational flying
4 May, 2018
Planning your next holiday abroad?
10 April, 2018
Read All Blogs