5 Dangerous Rxs for Drivers

NOVEMBER 24, 2015
Allison Gilchrist, Associate Editor
Driving under the influence of prescription drugs may be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol.
Some medications may cause impairments such as drowsiness, slowed reaction times, and coordination difficulties. Similar to alcohol, these side effects can directly affect a patient’s ability to drive safely.
“Many drivers think that the impairing effects of medicines only occur when they are used excessively, or taken in excess, but that is not the case,” said Tanya Smyth, a road safety researcher from Queensland University of Technology. “Drivers are unable to accurately self-assess their impairment when taking medication and are overconfident in assessing their abilities.”
Pharmacists can leverage their position in the community to verbally warn patients about the dangers of driving while taking certain prescription medications.
“Get to know your pharmacist,” the FDA advises patients on its website. “Ask the pharmacist to go over your medicines with you and to remind you of effects they may have on your ability to drive safely.”
Here are some medications that may impair drivers: