As we all know, it is illegal to drive while intoxicated or after using drugs. But many of us don’t know that prescription and over-the-counter medications can affect our ability to drive, as the effects can be very similar.
The medications that we can commonly find for colds and allergies tend to cause drowsiness, decreased reflexes and alertness. It is essential that, if you are going to take one, you carefully read the warnings regarding the side effects that it may have, and avoid driving if possible.
In the same way, if you are taking a new medication that has been prescribed for you, talk to your doctor about the possible effects that it may have. The most convenient thing when taking a new drug—either prescription or over-the-counter—is to wait to see how it affects our body and what reactions we have.
Some medications even carry a warning that says “do not operate heavy machinery,” this not only refers to the machines of a construction company but also to cars and some tools that we may have at home or work.
Keep in mind that the most important thing is your safety. In the same way that you would be careful not to drive or operate any machinery when you consume alcohol, you must exercise the same precautions when ingesting a medication.
The duration of the effects may be different in each case. Some of them can disappear in a short time, while others can last for many hours. For example, people who take pills or any other form of sleeping pills to sleep should be cautious. They must let their doctor guide them on the minimum dose they can take if necessary to drive the following day.
You can obtain more information through the FDA portal regarding the list of medicines with which precautions must be taken.