When you need medicine, you might not think about the side effects. Unfortunately, car accidents happen to sick people in addition to healthy people. Before you get behind a wheel, be sure that you are not affected by substances that could impair your driving. These five medications might be fighting more than just your ailment.
A wide array of medicines contain antihistamines. Antihistamines sometimes cause side effects which especially affect driving—like decreasing alertness, reaction time, or concentration. And the wide range of medicines that contain antihistamines can make predicting side effects difficult. For example, both Piriton and Nytol contain an antihistamine. Check the ingredients on the side of your medication before getting into the car.
Many painkillers—specifically, analgesics—can cause drowsiness or dizziness. Be aware of how these medications affect you before trying to quell your headache while driving. Sometimes accepting the symptoms can be worth the increase in safety.
3. Cough medicines
In addition to worries about antihistamines commonly present in cold medication, cough medicines generally have cough suppressants. Like antihistamines, cough suppressants can sometimes produce dizziness or drowsiness. Together with antihistamines, cough suppressants can have more than the intended effect.
4. Anxiety or depression medication
While your medication may help you stay levelheaded, anxiety and depression medications often have a sedating effect that can be extremely hazardous when driving. Especially when switching medications, it’s important to know how the medicine affects you specifically before getting behind the wheel.
5. Sleeping pills
Of course, you wouldn’t take a sleeping pill immediately before trying to drive. Many people underestimate how long sleeping pills can continue to affect a potential driver. Remember: groggy driving is dangerous driving. To be safe, you should wait at twelve hours after taking a sleeping pill before taking the wheel.