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Medication & Driving

3:12 PM, Dec 23, 2011   |    comments
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Drugs create chemical changes in your body, and they may affect your ability to drive a car safely.

Both prescription and over-the-counter medications can slow reflexes, blur vision, or cause drowsiness or dizziness.  Drugs often affect people differently at 20 than 40 or 60.  With age, people tend to be heavier and have less muscle tone, which affects the way chemicals are absorbed.  Older bodies also metabolize drugs more slowly, so it takes longer for many medications to "wear off."

Use caution when you're taking a new drug.  Know all the drugs you are taking, and be sure that any doctor you see knows ALL the drugs that you are currently taking, including short-term medicine for colds or flu, allergy relief, or non-prescription sleeping medicine.

Some of the most common drugs that can impair driving include:

  • benzodiazepines (to treat anxiety, seizures, or insomnia)
  • insulin
  • antispasmodics (for ulcers)
  • pain and anti-inflammatories
  • antibiotics
  • antihistamines
  • medication for congestive heart failure
  • antidepressants

For much more information, check out AAAPublicAffairs.org or SeniorDrivers.org

Thank you to Dr. Daniel K. Onion for sharing expert knowledge on this topic, and to Martin's Point Healthcare for providing exceptional hospitality during the interview! 

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