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Medication impairment can be just as risky as alcohol impairment

People who would never consider drinking and driving may still be hitting the roads of Connecticut with their driving abilities seriously impaired. According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, before getting behind the wheel, motorists should seriously consider how the side effects of medications are likely to affect driving skills.

When getting a prescription, patients have the advantage of being able to ask the doctor about how the drug may affect them. This can be followed up with the pharmacist, and finally, the information from the company which should accompany the medication.

Over-the-counter medications come with information about the risks, too. The labels have warnings about how the medicines may react with other OTC and prescription medications, and how they may affect alertness and function. There are certain types of medicines that people should be particularly wary of, including the following:

  • Medicines for diarrhea often have ingredients that may cause drowsiness.
  • Anti-emetics treat motion sickness, nausea and vomiting, and can cause impairment and drowsiness.
  • Antihistamines may cause drowsiness, and they may also affect reaction time and focus.

NBC News reports that sleeping pills may be culprits in compromising driving safety and raising the risk of car accidents, as well. Even when taken as directed and followed by a good night's sleep, a person could still have a much higher chance of being in a motor vehicle crash. Those who have recently begun taking certain prescription sleep medications may suffer physical effects similar to a blood alcohol content of 0.06 percent or higher. 

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