When you are sick, you may have no choice but to take medicine to treat your illness and manage its symptoms. These medications usually have no significant side effects, making them safe to consume as the doctor prescribed. Other times, they can cause mild to severe impairments, impacting your ability to perform daily activities, such as driving.
Driving is never safe if you’re tired, dizzy or nauseous. Unfortunately, some drugs used to treat common health issues can cause these impairments, including the following:
- Prescribed medication for mental health disorders
- Antihistamines for various allergic reactions
- Medicine to relieve pain
- Remedies for stomach issues and nausea
- Other over-the-counter medication for clogged nose, sore throat and other common cold symptoms
Sometimes, these drugs can take effect hours or even a day after ingestion, potentially causing uncontrollable fatigue, drowsiness and even passing out. If the side effects kick in while behind the wheel, you could end up in an accident, sustaining severe injuries. Doctors and health care providers may advise drivers to take precautions and reduce crash risks while on medication.
Taking medication responsibly
You should always be vigilant and alert behind the wheel. If your medication poses risks of impairing side effects, it is best to follow these preventative measures:
- Consult your doctor regarding your medicine’s side effects.
- Ask about possible dosage adjustments to minimize impairments.
- Always read information about dosage and ingestion when taking over-the-counter drugs.
- Inquire if the medication could trigger reactions to other substances, food or allergies.
These practices cannot guarantee safety when driving while under medication. However, learning about it and seeking advice from doctors or pharmacists could help you find alternative solutions, such as arranging other transportation options.