Possibly. In a case with similar facts, the Third Circuit recognized that the side effects from treatment for an underlying condition that is not itself disabling may constitute a disabling impairment under the Americans with Disability Act. However, it is not enough for an individual asserting such a disability to show that the potentially disabling medication or course of treatment was prescribed or recommended by a licensed medical professional.
Instead, the medication or course of treatment must be required in the “prudent judgment of the medical profession,” and there must not be an available alternative that is “equally efficacious that lacks similarly disabling side effects.” The court reasoned that the concept of “disability” connotes an involuntary condition, and if one can alter or remove the “impairment” through an equally efficacious course of treatment, it should not be considered “disabling.”
The individual in this case could not show that he had a disabling impairment due to his medication’s side effects. When informed of the side effects, the individual’s doctor recommended that he stop taking the medication. Additionally, there was no evidence that the specific medications causing the side effects were the only “efficacious medications,” nor was there any evidence that all other “equally efficacious courses of treatment would have caused similarly disabling side effects.”
Source: Sulima v. Tobyhanna Army Depot (3rdCir 2010) 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 7459.