Many people need to take various medications for health problems they have, and this is perfectly normal; but did you know that some medications can actually impair your ability to drive? We all know that medications have side effects; these are listed on the side of the bottle and are usually read off at rapid speed on commercials for medications; but who really listens to those, anyway? We all know about these side effects but don’t really think they will happen to us; and even if they do, it doesn’t seem like a huge deal to feel a little lethargic or drowsy! The fact is, if you plan to drive after taking your medication, this can actually be a huge deal. The side effects of some medications can be strong enough to actually impact your ability to drive safely, to the point that you are as impaired as someone who has had a few drinks. You wouldn’t knowingly get behind the wheel after a few drinks, so why would you knowingly get behind the wheel after taking medication which impairs your judgment? You might not know about it, that’s why.
How can you be impaired?
When you are drinking alcohol, you are at least aware that your motor functions and reaction times are being impaired. Most people are aware of the level of intoxication they have reached, so they can decide not to drive and possibly break the law. But when you’re taking medications, you don’t always think about this risk. It doesn’t seem as likely that your functioning will be impaired just from taking something so minor as an allergy or cold medicine. If you aren’t careful, you can find yourself impaired and dangerous on the road without ever knowing it. These medications have side effects which can leave you lethargic, drowsy and with a slower reaction time on the road. This means that if a situation comes up where you really need to react quickly, you’re not going to be able to do it. If you can’t swerve away from an incoming truck, for example, you could find yourself in an accident. This is why it’s so important to understand what is in the medications you are taking. If you are aware of this, you can avoid a terrible circumstance before it ever begins.
Medications to watch out for
Antihistamines, or allergy medications, are a common type of medication that that can impair your ability to drive safely. The common ingredients in these medications can make you feel sleepy, slower, have slower reaction times, and just feel overall a lot more tired. Antihistamines aren’t only found in allergy medications; they are also found in cough syrup, flu and cold remedies, and any kind of drug that helps you rest. If you do decide to take antihistamines and you really need to drive somewhere, just be very aware of your level of alertness. If you do need something to make you feel better, you can buy Advair online easily. If you start to nod off or feel sleepy on the road, pull over immediately. It’s better to be late and be safe than to risk your life and that of other people on the road. Always go over the fine print of any medications that you’re not sure about. If you’re someone who needs to drive every day, you need to make sure that your medications are not going to compromise your ability to be safe on the road.
The role of the FDA
If these medications are potentially hazardous for drivers, why is the FDA not making a bigger deal of this? In fact, the Food and Drug Administration isn’t quite sure what they should do with all these studies coming out about the side effects of antihistamines. They know about the side effects, but it’s not quite clear exactly what instructions to require or boundaries to set. It is essentially in your hands as the consumer to make a responsible decision about what to do after you have taken these medications. Currently, there is no similar law to that for drinking alcohol and driving. If you have taken medications which lower your reaction time and then go for a drive and cause an accident, you won’t be held liable because you took this medication. It’s really up to you to be aware of what you are putting in your body and how it will affect your ability to be a safe driver. As long as you are responsible and put in the time to learn about what you’re taking, you can make safe choices on the road.