Taking new medications can affect your driving safety | Bart Durham Injury Law

Taking new medications can affect your driving safety

When we drive frequently, the skills required seem to come second nature and we may not realize how much the slightest impairment can truly affect our ability to drive safely. When taking medications, there is always a risk that it could affect your driving. When taking a new medication whether it is a prescription or over the counter, here are some things to consider before hopping behind the wheel.

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Learn all the potential side effects

Before starting any medication, consider all of the side effects and how they could affect you overall health and impair your driving. Some medications may have side effects that would obviously impair your driving like dizziness, drowsiness, the inability to focus or blurred vision but some aren't so obvious. If you're taking a medication that makes you irritable, you could make irrational decisions while you're driving that could cause an accident.

Consider how the medication could react with your current medications

When taking a new medication, it's important to remember to not only look at the potential side effects, but look at the way a medication may react to one you're already taking. Some medications do not interact well. Talk to your doctor and your pharmacist about the potential reactions your medications could have and be honest with them if you think you are having a reaction.

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Avoid driving until you know how the medication will affect you

On the first day of starting any medication, try to limit your driving time. Try to choose a day where you are able to stay home or have alternative modes of transportation in case you experience side effects from the medication. If you do experience side effects, talk to your doctor about other options or lowering the dose of the medication. If your medication does make you drowsy, you may be able to take it at night so that it doesn't affect your driving. If you do experience side effects, don't stop taking a prescription medication without consulting your doctor first.

It's always best to be cautious when starting new medications, especially before driving or operating a vehicle. Monitoring your symptoms, talking with your doctor, and following these tips can help when dealing with potential side effects of new medications.

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