What medications can increase crash risks?

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2024 | Car Accidents |

Sometimes, catching a cold or the flu is inevitable. Going to a doctor and getting medication could help a patient recover. However, doing so could affect their ability to stay alert and drive. Even over-the-counter (OTC) medicine could sometimes cause grogginess or sleepiness, making drivers fall asleep behind the wheel.

Driving while drowsy or impaired is a significant concern, especially for people who drive daily. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledges the risk, advising consumers to learn about their medication and its adverse effects before attempting to drive. The following medications may impact driving abilities and increase crash risks:

  • Pain relievers
  • Prescription drugs for mental health disorders or seizures
  • Any substance containing codeine
  • OTC cold and allergy medications
  • Relaxants and sleeping pills
  • Medicines for motion sickness and diarrhea
  • Certain stimulants and diet pills

Some drugs could cause fatigue and lethargy or react with other substances, leading to side effects. Fortunately, consumers can take these concerns seriously to minimize risks and harm.

Aside from drowsiness, these substances might cause other impairments, including fainting, nausea and issues impacting the driver’s ability to react or concentrate. If they experience these symptoms while behind the wheel, they might lose control of their vehicle, resulting in a collision.

Taking safety measures

Fortunately, drivers can take preventative measures to minimize risks. They can consult their physician about their medication’s side effects, helping them understand the best time to take the medicine, which can help minimize its effects when driving. They can also adjust the dosage to mitigate drowsiness throughout the day.

Additionally, the patient could seek other forms of transportation while taking medication. By taking these measures, drivers can avoid medicine-related impairments, protecting themselves and others from harm.


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