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Fear of Flying & Diazepam

Practice stance on prescribing of  Diazepam for Fear of Flying

December 2022


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:


  1. 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

around you.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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


  1. 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


  1. 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

some jobs.


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

Easy Jet


Tel: 0203 8131644

British Airways


Tel: 01252 793 250

Virgin Atlantic


Tel: 01423 714900 1252250



Date published: 14th February, 2023
Date last updated: 14th February, 2023