A driver cannot take a controlled substance or prescription medication without a prescription from a licensed practitioner.
If a driver uses a drug identified in 21 CFR 1308.11 (391.42(b)(12)) or any other substance such as amphetamine, a narcotic, or any other habit forming drug, The driver is medically unqualified.
There is an exception: the prescribing doctor can write that the driver is safe to be a commercial driver while taking the medication. In this case, the Medical Examiner may, but does not have to certify the driver.
Any anti-seizure medication used for the prevention of seizures is disqualifying.
Methadone use is disqualifying.
The Medical Examiner has 2 ways to determine if any medication a driver uses will adversely affect safe operation of a CMV:
1. Review each medication - prescription, non-prescription and supplement
2. Request a letter from the prescribing doctor
Can a CMV driver be disqualified for using a legally prescribed drug?
Although the driver has a legal prescription, he/she may be disqualified if the medication could adversely affect the driver's ability to drive a CMV safely.
The issue of "arthritis" is also mentioned in the DOT regulations:
A person is physically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle if that person:
Has no established medical history or clinical diagnosis of a rheumatic, arthritic, orthopedic, muscular, neuromuscular or vascular disease which interferes with the ability to control and operate a commercial motor vehicle.
Certain diseases are known to have acute episodes of transient muscle weakness, poor muscular coordination (ataxia), abnormal sensations (paresthesia), decreased muscle tone (hypotonia), visual disturbances and pain which may be suddenly incapacitating. With each recurring episode, these symptoms may become more pronounced and remain for longer periods of time. Other diseases have more insidious onsets and display symptoms of muscle wasting (atrophy), swelling and paresthesia which may not suddenly incapacitate a person but may restrict his/her movements and eventually interfere with the ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. In many instances these diseases are degenerative in nature or may result in deterioration of the involved area.
Once the individual has been diagnosed as having a rheumatic, arthritic, orthopedic, muscular, neuromuscular or vascular disease, then he/she has an established history of that disease. The physician, when examining an individual, should consider the following:
(1) The nature and severity of the individual's condition (such as sensory loss or loss of strength;
(2) The degree of limitation present (such as range of motion;
(3) The likelihood of progressive limitation (not always present initially but manifest itself over time;
(4) The likelihood of sudden incapacitation.
I would suggest discussing your current medical condition, your current medication use and the effect that this medication may have on you ability to safely operate a vehicle.