Whether you’ve fallen ill or have chronic health issues that you have to attend to, you should be aware that driving isn’t always a good idea when you’re taking medications. Certain medications can interact with alcohol or cause side effects that make it difficult to drive safely.
Of course, life goes on, even if you have to take medicine. So, there is a good chance that you’ll need to drive at some point. How can you make sure you minimize the risk? Is there a way to know if you are safe to drive while taking medications?
Look at the common side effects on your pill bottle
On all prescriptions, there are common side effects listed in the paperwork that is included or on the bottle itself. When you try to purchase the medication, there may be highlighted warnings or a notice to speak with your pharmacist about side effects before leaving the pharmacy.
One of the best ways to make sure you are safe to drive is to know the common side effects that you could run into. For example, some common side effects of many medications include:
- Blurred vision
- Slowed movements
- Trouble focusing or paying attention
- Sleepiness or drowsiness
All of these side effects could negatively impact your ability to drive safely.
If this is a new medication, then test it out before you drive
When you’re taking a new medication for the first time, it’s usually a good idea to take it when you don’t have to go anywhere. Stay home and see how the drug impacts you. If you get drowsy at home, all you need to do is lay down. If you’re behind the wheel, you could end up causing a serious collision.
Remember, medications may affect you only for a short time, or they could have side effects that last for many hours. Some medications will come with a warning not to use heavy machinery. If yours has this warning, remember that your car is included in that category.
All kinds of medications can impact your ability to drive
Many medications can impact your ability to drive. Some common medications that can affect you may include:
- Opioid pain relievers
- Muscle relaxants
- Sleeping pills
- Diet pills
- Antiepileptic drugs
…and many others.
The truth is that no one knows exactly how your body will react to a medication. If you need to take medicine, remember that you can book a cab or a ride instead of driving, at least until you see how you react to the treatment you’re on. If you choose to drive, you could end up facing a DUI if you can’t drive safely.