In the U.S. military and other uses, a no-go pill refers to a hypnotic medication taken to ensure adequate rest in preparation for upcoming tasks or for rest and recovery. As of November 2012, medications approved as no-go pills by the U.S. Air Force for Special Operations include:
- Temazepam (Restoril), with a 12-hour restriction on subsequent flight operation
- Zaleplon (Sonata), with a 4-hour restriction on subsequent flight operation
- Zolpidem (Ambien), with a 6-hour restriction on subsequent flight operation
Historically, in the Western military domain, the government-legitimized fighter pilot was, conservatively and under medical doctor scrutiny, given in med-kit containers absent from no flight, both low-dose Dexedrine and relevantly, diazepam, for either one or the other extremity of condition (fatigue or sleeplessness) and amelioration thereof.
In contrast to the sleeping agents, a go pill refers to a wakefulness-promoting agent used for fatigue management, especially in a military combat-readiness context; this is contrasted with a no-go pill, which is used to promote sleep in support of combat operations. A go pill generally contains one of the following drugs:
- Amphetamine (methamphetamine having been used historically, such as during the Second World War), which is a strong psychostimulant drug; no longer approved officially for use by the U.S. Air Force, possibly due to safety concerns brought up in the wake of incidents like the Tarnak Farm incident.
- Modafinil, a wakefulness-promoting drug (or eugeroic)
- Air Force Special Operations Command Instruction 48-101 Archived June 11, 2014, at the Wayback Machine., U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command, November 30, 2012.
- Air Force Special Operations Command Instruction 48–101 Archived June 11, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. (sects. 1.7.4), U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command, November 30, 2012.