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FAA Medical Certification | Deplin (Levomefolic acid)

This vitamin / derivative of folate (vitamin B9), and may provide good results for the treatment of depression.  Deplin is not regulated by the FDA in the U.S. and, on a case by case basis, may be allowed by the FAA. Approval for Deplin use is acceptable to the FAA provided that you do not have a disqualifying psychiatric condition.  Keep in mind, it is usually the condition, not the treatment which establishes eligibility for FAA medical certification.

Some research has shown that Vitamin B9 fuels the synthesis of key brain chemicals which are typically involved with depression.  While B9 (folate) supplements have helped many depressed people, apparently many others can’t properly convert folate to L-methylfolate, which is a required step to pass through the “blood-brain barrier” and enter the central nervous system.

Deplin (Levomefolic acid) is classified as a “medical food” or vitamin rather than a drug.  Researchers advise that Deplin has already been converted to L-methylfolate, so it can automatically be used to create serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain.

Research data has also shown that combining Deplin with a serotonin reuptake inhibitor – like Zoloft or Prozac or Paxil – more than doubles the response rate to the antidepressant.  Studies indicate the combination of Deplin and the antidepressant yields 84 percent greater improvement in symptoms compared with the antidepressant alone.

A final note for pilots: In research studies, Deplin did not cause more side effects than a placebo.  More at Deplin.com.

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