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If You Take These Medications, You Might Not Get A CDL


If You Take These Medications, You Might Not Get A CDL

If you suffer from anxiety, depression or other mental illnesses but take medication to treat the symptoms, you may be ineligible for a CDL or you may need a Medical Release Opinion letter.

Millions of Americans suffer from anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses or chemical imbalances. The symptoms of these illnesses can range from minor to severe and most are easily controlled with medication. The medications given for mental illnesses can help suffers live a normal, happy life.

According to the FMCSA, “individuals who live under chronic emotional upsets may have deeply ingrained maladaptive or erratic behavior patterns. Excessively antagonistic, instinctive, impulsive, openly aggressive, paranoid or severely depressed behavior greatly interfere with the driver’s ability to drive safely. Those individuals who are highly susceptible to frequent states of emotional instability (schizophrenia, affective psychoses, paranoia, anxiety or depressive neurosis) may warrant disqualification.

For more information follow this link: https://goo.gl/9t6ttF

“Careful consideration should be given to the side effects and interactions of medications in the overall qualification determination. See Psychiatric Conference Report for specific recommendations on the use of these medications and potential hazards for driving.”

A 2009 FMCSA Medical report states:

It is the opinion of the MEP that all individuals with a history of the following psychiatric disorders should undergo additional medical and psychiatric evaluation to further assess functional ability before being considered qualified to drive a CMV:
•Psychotic Disorders
•Bipolar Disorders
•Major Depressive Disorder with a history of psychosis, suicidal ideation, homicidal ideation or a suicide attempt
•Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
•Antisocial Personality Disorder

The MEP believes that all individuals currently taking benzodiazepines or similar drugs which act on benzodiazepine receptors should be immediately prohibited from driving a CMV.

Individuals who take benzodiazepines for any length of time should not be allowed to drive until the drug has been cleared from their system (i.e., within seven half-lives of the drug and any active metabolites). Chronic users of benzodiazepines (i.e., regular use for more than a month) should also wait an additional week after the drug has cleared from their system before resuming driving to ensure that the drug has been completely eliminated. It is also suggested that FMCSA provide information regarding the half-life and seven half-lives of benzodiazepines and active metabolites to medical examiners for use at the time of examination.

Given the functional impairments and increased crash risk associated with benzodiazepine use, the MEP believes that:
•individuals currently taking benzodiazepines not be allowed to drive a CMV
•individuals who are taking benzodiazepines should stop taking them long enough ahead of driving for them to be cleared from their systems before being allowed to drive a CMV (it takes seven half lives for a drug to be completely eliminated from the body)
•chronic users of benzodiazepines should wait an additional week after the drug has been cleared from the body (i.e., seven half lives plus one week) before driving a CMV to ensure that it has been completely eliminated.

The MEP is of the opinion that all individuals currently taking lithium be excluded from driving a CMV at night.

What to do?

Give your Certified Medical Examiner all the information so he may contact and discuss with the prescribing doctor and if necessary get a ………………..

……………………………Medical Release Opinion

To ensure that the medical examiner can complete the DOT physical exam at your appointment you should bring a Medical Release Opinion letter from your treating physician. You can download instructions and a letter template here, or refer your treating physician to this page for the necessary information.

Download Medical Release Opinion information here.

If you do not have the necessary documentation with you, for the DOT physical exam, the medical examiner may have to temporarily disqualify your medical certificate. You will need this documentation before you can be reconsidered for qualification for a medical certificate.

Medical Conditions

These are the medical conditions listed on the FMCSA long form for which you should have supporting documentation for the medical examiner:

Illness or injury within the last 5 years • Head/Brain injuries, disorders or illnesses • Seizures, epilepsy • Eye disorders or impaired vision (except corrective lenses) • Ear disorders, loss of hearing or balance • Heart disease or heart attack; other cardiovascular condition • Heart surgery (valve replacement/bypass, angioplasty, pacemaker • High blood pressure • Muscular disease • Shortness of breath • Lung disease, emphysema, asthma, chronic bronchitis • Kidney disease, dialysis • Liver disease • Digestive problems • Diabetes or elevated blood sugar controlled by diet or pills or insulin • Nervous or psychiatric disorders e.g. severe depression • Loss of, or altered consciousness • Fainting, dizziness • Sleep disorders, pauses in breathing while asleep, daytime sleepiness, loud snoring • Stroke or paralysis • Missing or impaired hand, arm, foot, leg, finger, toe • Spinal injury or disease • Chronic low back pain • Regular, frequent alcohol use • Narcotic or habit forming drug use

As always if you have questions drop me a message or a phone call and we will help you in any way we can:

By: Dr. Michael Tigges

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529 Hartsville Pike
Gallatin, TN 37066

Right next to Sumner Regional Medical Center across from Perkins Drugstore. Parking for your big rig next door in the Food Lion parking lot.

About Us

Dr. Michael J. TiggesDr. Michael Tigges

Certified DOT Medical Examiner
Chiropractic Physician


Dr. Tigges is one of the first in TN to become a certified DOT Medical Examiner of the United States Federal Government. The National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners requires all medical examiners performing physical examinations for interstate commercial motor vehicle drivers to be trained and certified in FMCSA physical qualification standards.

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Same Day DOT Physicals Drug & Alcohol Testing Gallatin, TN


Dr. Michael Tigges is a Certified DOT Medical Examiner

What Drivers Are Saying

“Great place to go to! Very nice and welcoming from the moment you walk into the door. I would highly recommend everyone to go to Dr Tigges for any medical needs. The lady in the office is extremely nice as well.”
Justin M

“Very short wait time. Super friendly staff. I always get stressed when I get a physical for work, which causes blood pressure issues. The staff kept me calm and got me through it just fine. The doctor had great information to offer that will help me in the future.”
Robert D

“Great experience! Friendly professional staff. I will definitely be using them again and I highly recommend them!”
Damar N

“Very good group of people. I was a walk in. Only wait time I had was me filling out papers. Staff was excellent, made me feel like I was family. Tigges did a great job of explaining things I didn’t know and he didn’t miss a thing in the exam. I would recommend him to anyone. I am even going to send my wife there for chiropractic care. I will return for my next DOT physical.again!”
Dwight C

“From the moment I walked in until my physical was completed the staff & Dr. Tigges was extremely nice, professional, & very welcoming. It made me feel alot more at ease for the DOT physical. I also did not have to wait long at all. I would highly recommend Dr. Tigges to anyone that needs a DOT!! Best in this area!!”
Toya G

DOT Medical Exam Services

  • DOT/CDL MEDICAL EXAM  ~  Our prices are the lowest in the area. $75.
  • Certified DOT Drug Testing
  • Certified DOT Breath Alcohol Testing
  • School Bus Driver Physicals
  • Pre-employment Physicals
  • DOT Random Drug Testing Programs

We will gladly answer any questions you may have prior to your exam.


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