Sometimes, getting sick is unavoidable, and you might need to take prescription medication to recover. However, the same substances meant to make you feel better could cause impairments.
Specific medication might cause side effects affecting your decision-making and ability to drive safely. These common effects include the following:
- Fatigue or weakness, affecting grip and physical strength required for driving
- Lack of responsiveness, impacting reaction time to obstructions or objects in your blind spots
- Grogginess or drowsiness, making it difficult to stay awake while behind the wheel
- Blurry vision, causing difficulty when spotting other vehicles and pedestrians on the road
- Confusion or an unclear train of thought, affecting the ability to interpret traffic signs and warnings
Potential side effects could vary, depending on the type of medication. These effects are not exclusive to prescription drugs. Certain over-the-counter medications and supplements could also cause these reactions.
Additionally, a physician could notify you about these effects to plan and avoid driving after taking these substances.
Take steps to reduce risks
Fortunately, most medication has labels indicating their potential adverse effects. As a start, you can look through this information.
Also, you could discuss the risks with your physician. A doctor would better understand how the medication and its dosage could affect you. You should also listen and follow their advice, especially instructions about when to take them and how long you should avoid driving after ingestion.
You could also talk about it with the pharmacist, especially for over-the-counter substances. They would know how the formulation could affect you, including impairments.
However, it is up to you to monitor your condition and listen to your body. You could lessen the risk by noting when you feel side effects and avoiding driving whenever you feel unwell or impaired.