Could Your Meds Affect Your Driving?

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Many people using prescription medications that could impair their ability to drive safely have not been warned by a doctor, pharmacist, or drug label that the medicine may affect them in this way, finds a new study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. Nearly 20 percent of study participants had recently used a prescription drug that should have come with such a warning.

For this study, researchers used information from the 2013-2014 National Roadside Survey involving 7,405 drivers at 60 sites throughout the United States who were randomly selected and asked about their prescription drug use. The percentages of those who reported receiving a warning about driving while taking their medication varied by drug type:

  • 86 percent for prescription sedatives
  • 85 percent for narcotics
  • 58 percent for stimulants
  • 63 percent for antidepressants

The researchers say it’s possible that study participants actually were warned that their meds could impair driving ability and did not retain this information.

Sourced from: Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs