Practice stance on prescribing of Diazepam for Fear of Flying
Shay Lane Medical Centre is unable to prescribe Diazepam for
patients who wish to use this for a fear of flying. We have several
reasons why we have taken this decision:
- Diazepam is a sedative. This means, the medication makes you
sleepy and more relaxed. If there would be an emergency
during the flight, this could impair your ability to
concentrate, follow instructions, or react to the situation.
This could seriously affect the safety of you and the people
- Sedative drugs can make you fall asleep, however, when you
sleep it is an unnatural non-REM sleep. This means, your
movements during sleep are reduced and this can place you at
an increased risk of developing blood clots (DVT). These
blood clots are very dangerous and can even prove fatal. This
risk further increases if your flight is over 4 hours long.
- Although most people respond to benzodiazepines like
Diazepam with sedation, a small proportion experiences the
opposite effect and can become aggressive. They can also
lead to disinhibition and make you behave in ways you normally
wouldn’t. This could also impact on your safety and the safety
of your fellow passengers or could lead you to get in trouble
with the law.
- National prescribing guidelines followed by doctors also don’t
allow the use of benzodiazepines in cases or phobia. Any
doctor prescribing diazepam for a fear of flying would be
taking a significant legal risk as this goes against these
guidelines. Benzodiazepines are only licensed for short-term
use in a crisis in generalised anxiety. If this is the problem
you suffer with, you should seek proper care and support for
your mental health, and it would not be advisable to go on a
- In several countries, diazepam and similar drugs are illegal.
They would be confiscated, and you might find yourself in
trouble with the police for being in control of an illegal
- Diazepam has a long half-life. This means it stays in your
system for a significant time and you may fail random drug
testing if you are subjected to such testing as is required in
We appreciate a fear of flying is very real and very frightening and
can be debilitating. However, there are much better and effective
ways of tackling the problem. We recommend you tackle your
problem with a Fear of Flying Course, which is run by several airlines.
These courses are far more effective than diazepam, they have none
of the undesirable effects and the positive effects of the courses
continue after the courses have been completed.
Fear of Flying Courses
Tel: 0203 8131644
Tel: 01252 793 250
Tel: 01423 714900 1252250