When you think of impaired driving, drinking and driving is likely what comes to mind first. But other substances count.
Alcohol or drugs and motors. They just don’t mix. According to the U.S Food and Drug Administration, medications should also be on your watch list, when it comes to impaired driving.
Most medications are safe to take while operating a motor vehicle such as a car, truck, plane or boat, but it’s always a good idea to read the fine print or talk to a doctor before getting behind the wheel.
According to the FDA’s website, the following meds could cause symptoms that could impair your driving:
- opioid pain relievers
- prescription drugs for anxiety (for example, benzodiazepines)
- anti-seizure drugs (antiepileptic drugs)
- antipsychotic drugs
- some antidepressants
- products containing codeine
- some cold remedies and allergy products, such as antihistamines (both prescription and OTC)
- sleeping pills
- muscle relaxants
- medicines that treat or control symptoms of diarrhea
- medicines that treat or prevent symptoms of motion sickness
diet pills, “stay awake” drugs, and other medications with stimulants (e.g., caffeine, ephedrine, pseudoephedrine)
Yes, sleeping medications can impair you. They can keep their effect until the next morning, especially when they come in extended release forms of medication.
And although allergy medications may seem innocent enough, they usually contain antihistamines, which slow your reaction time and cause mild confusion, even if you’re well rested.
Check out the FDA’s detailed post for more information.