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Why driving while on medication can be risky

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2024 | Auto Accidents

Taking medicine is often a standard treatment for many illnesses, but it can cause harm without adequate precautions. Sometimes, medication can have side effects and adverse reactions, harming the patient. In some scenarios, the medicine can lead to severe dizziness, drowsiness and other impairments, posing risks when driving. In some ways, specific medications can be just as intoxicating or worse than alcohol, making it imperative to think twice before getting behind the wheel.

Addressing medication side effects

Some people may underestimate their medication’s effects because they feel fine after taking them. However, the side effects can appear hours or even a full day after ingesting the medicine. Symptoms can include the following:

  • Dizziness and nausea
  • Vision issues, such as blurriness
  • Inability to focus or slow reaction time
  • Severe drowsiness that may lead to fainting
  • Nervousness

These symptoms can significantly impact a person’s driving ability, increasing already existing risks that accompany operating a vehicle. Additionally, these effects can happen with various medications, ranging from prescription to over-the-counter medicine. There is no guaranteed way to remove the risk of these side effects, so taking preventative measures could be necessary to maintain safety.

Staying safe while taking medication

Some people may put themselves in harm’s way by failing to acknowledge how their medication can affect them. Sometimes, the only way to stay safe is by avoiding driving while taking medicine. Patients can also speak to their treating physicians to seek advice on managing their medicine’s dosage and schedule to prevent severe side effects.

Still, drivers can prevent danger by arranging other forms of transportation, at least until they finish taking their medication. Choosing to drive despite being impaired due to medication can be severely dangerous. Not only does it endanger the driver, but it can also be risky for everyone on the road.