Fear of Flying

Requests for anxiolytics for fear of flying

At the Welby Group of Practices, we will no longer prescribe Diazepam or any other related medication for patients who wish to use this for a fear of flying. We have made this decision due to the following reasons:

1) These medications are sedating, which makes you sleepy and more relaxed. If there were to 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.

2) Sedative drugs can make you fall asleep, however 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) which can be fatal.

3) Although most people respond to benzodiazepines with sedation, a small proportion experience 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.

4) National prescribing guidelines followed by doctors don’t allow the use of benzodiazepines in cases of phobia. 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 flight.

5) In several countries, diazepam and similar drugs are illegal. You might find yourself in trouble with the police for being in control of an illegal substance.

6) Diazepam has a long half-life. This means it stays in your system for a significant time.

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 a Fear of Flying Course. These courses are far more effective than diazepam and have none of the undesirable effects. 

Please click the below links for further information on available fear of flying courses:

EasyJet Fearless Flyer

British Airways Flying with Confidence

Date published: 15th May, 2024
Date last updated: 15th May, 2024