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Think twice before driving after taking medication

If you are taking prescription or over-the-counter medication in Louisiana and you think it is ok to drive, think again. Many medications cause side effects that making driving just as dangerous as if you are drinking alcohol. Take a closer look at the drugs you are taking and speak to your doctor about driving dangers before you get on the road and put yourself and other drivers at risk.

Most drivers know that taking illegal drugs, such as cocaine, or smoking marijuana before driving is an illegal offense and comes with the same consequences as a DUI. However, not everyone understands the dangers that accompany legal medication. The National Institute on Drug Abuse discusses that prescription drugs are common causes of vehicular accidents, and that there may be a bigger issue among older drivers. This is because their mental state may cause them to take more of a particular medication and that it takes longer for medication to break down in their bodies.

The Food and Drug Administration discusses the types of prescription drugs that affect driving ability. These include sleeping pills, antidepressants, anxiety medication, tranquilizers and pain pills. Some over-the-counter meds include cold medicine, pain relievers, diet pills and allergy remedies.  

 So, what types of reactions occur that cause these medications to be so dangerous when taken before driving? Some side effects include

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Nausea
  • Lack of focus
  • Blurred vision
  • Inattentiveness
  • Fainting

If you are taking any of these medications, and you need to drive regularly, speak to your doctor about finding a safer alternative or about changing the dose or time you take the drug. 

 

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