How to Manage your Fear of Flying

We appreciate that fear of flying is very real and very frightening experience for people.

Historically people have been prescribed benzodiazepines (a type of medication which includes diazepam and lorazepam) to help with their fear of flying.

However, Burdwood Surgery does NOT prescribe sedatives for fear of flying. This policy decision has been made by the GP Partners and Prescribing team and is adhered to by all prescribers working in the practice.

Our Reasons for this Decision

  1. Diazepam is a sedative, which means it makes you sleepy and more relaxed. If there is an emergency during the flight it may impair your ability to concentrate, follow instructions and react to the situation. This could have serious safety consequences for you and those around you.
  2. Sedative drugs can make you fall asleep, however when you do sleep it is an unnatural non-REM sleep. This means you won’t move around as much as during natural sleep. This can cause you to be at increased risk of developing a blood clot (DVT) in the leg or even the lung. Blood clots are very dangerous and can even prove fatal. This risk is even greater if your flight is greater than four hours.
  3. Whilst most people find benzodiazepines like diazepam sedating, a small number of people can find that they make them agitated and aggressive. They can also cause disinhibition and lead you to behave in a way that you would not normally. This could impact on your safety as well as that of other passengers and could also get you into trouble with the law.
  4. According to the prescribing guidelines doctors follow (BNF), Benzodiazepines are contraindicated (not advised) in phobia. Your doctor is taking a significant legal risk by prescribing against these guidelines.
  5. Diazepam and similar drugs are illegal in a number of countries. They may be confiscated or you may find yourself in trouble with the police.
  6. Diazepam stays in your system for quite a while. If your job requires you to submit to random drug testing, you may fail this having taken diazepam.

A much safer and more long-term approach is to tackle your phobia by investing in a ‘Fear of Flying’ course run by the airlines.

Book a 'Fear of Flying' Course

These courses are run by the airlines themselves.

Flying Plane