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Your cold could cause a crash: Over-the-counter medications

March 18, 2019

Many people know that prescription medications have warnings that they can cause a multitude of problems such as drowsiness or anxiety. However, did you know that many of the medications you take over the counter can do the same?

No matter what kind of medication you take, you could face a DUI if you are too impaired to drive safely. Whether it’s drowsiness, restlessness or other symptoms that affect your driving, you can still end up facing an arrest.

What kinds of over-the-counter medications are dangerous to drive on?

Everyone’s bodies are different, so it is impossible to tell you how you’re going to react to a medication. What affects some people won’t affect others in the same way. For example, a common side effect of the antihistamine Benadryl is drowsiness. Interestingly, the medication is also used as a sleep aid.

What is more interesting is that the medication doesn’t make everyone tired. Some people actually wake up more while taking it due to their bodies’ chemistry. What that should tell you is that you should not plan to drive on this medication unless you’re sure of how your body will react.

Another over-the-counter medication that can have side effects that affect your driving is a sleep aid. While it may say that it will wear off in only a few hours, the reality is that some people feel drowsy for the following day after using one. In that mental haze, it’s easy to make mistakes that cause traffic accidents.

These are just two medications that can affect you negatively. Others, like cough medicines or pain killers can affect people as well.

What should you do to avoid a medication-related DUI?

To avoid a DUI that is the product of taking medications, it’s a wise choice to take the medication when you don’t have to drive first. You should take 24 to 48 hours to better understand how the medication affects you and decide if you are able to drive on it safely.

Ask others if you have changes in the way you act or if you seem more tired than usual. If they say yes, then you may be having side effects that make it unsafe for you to drive.

Medications can be wonderful for people who are sick or suffering from medical issues, but they don’t always have a great impact on your driving skills. Be cautious if you’re driving on a new medication or a higher dose than usual.




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