OTC And Prescription Medications That Can Impair Your Driving

Doctor holding prescription medication.
OTC And Prescription Medications That Can Impair Your Driving

The Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a study on OTC and prescription medications that can
impair a person’s ability to drive safely and found that about half of licensed drivers take medications
that can affect their driving skills. Even if you are taking the medicines as instructed by your doctor, they
may still affect your capability to drive. This is because some medications can make you drowsy and
some others can make it difficult to think straight. As a Los Angeles pharmacy, we share the details of
some OTC and prescription medications that can impair your capability to drive. Read along to know

Opioid Medications

Opioid medications are used to block pai signals thereby offering relief from pain. These medications
can result in side effects like lightheadedness and sleepiness, which can impair your driving capability.
Some of the common opioid medications are Hydrocodone and Oxycodone. After taking these
medications, you may feel drowsy or dizzy and at high doses, you can feel intoxicated.

Seizure Medicines Like Valproic Acid

Antiepileptic medications are used to prevent seizures. Some common examples of these medications
are Carbamazepine and Valproic acid. These prescription medications can impair your driving capability
as they can lead to side effects like sleepiness and trouble with normal body movements.

Anxiety Medications Like Alprazolam

Alprazolam is a benzodiazepine that works to relax your muscles and slow down the central nervous
system. It is used to treat seizures, panic disorders and anxiety. However, these medications can side
effects like dizziness, sleepiness and distorted vision that can affect your driving skills. Clonazepam,
Diazepam and Lorazepam are other examples of benzodiazepines. If you are unsure whether your
medication is a benzodiazepine, you can get in touch with the pharmacists in our Los Angeles pharmacy.

Depression Medications Like Fluoxetine

Fluoxetine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, which can impair your driving skills. Other
antidepressants like SNRIs and TCAs can also affect your driving, as antidepressant medications can lead
to side effects like drowsiness and dizziness. These effects can be more common in the first few weeks
after starting the medication and usually improve with time. If your antidepressant is making you
drowsy during the day, you may be suggested to take the medication at night.

Sleeping Medications Like Zolpidem

Prescription medications for sleep are usually taken before bed. As these medications are meant to
make you sleep, you should not drive after taking them. However, these medications can stay longer in
your body at times. For instance, sleep medication like Zolpidem can impair your driving the next day,
even if you took the medication the previous night.