Like many Americans, you find yourself needing to take a prescription. As you take your first dose, you notice the warning on the label that tells you not to operate a vehicle after taking the medicine. However, you need to drive to get to work and run your errands. It is simply not feasible to rely on others for rides or take public transportation, especially if you must take this medication long-term. What are the dangers that you and other Texans might face while driving after taking certain medications?
One of the most common side effects of some prescription and over-the-counter drugs is drowsiness, cautions the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Medications that could cause you to become sleepy behind the wheel can include antihistamines, cold medicine, narcotic pain relievers, antidepressants and, of course, sleeping aids. However, drowsiness is not the only possible adverse effect you could experience from taking a medication. Your driving may also be impaired in the following ways:
- Jitteriness and difficulty focusing or concentrating
- Blurred vision
- Seizures or fainting
As you might imagine, any of these reactions could result in a serious car accident. If an officer pulls you over while you on medication that causes any of these impairments, you might also face a DUI charge.
How can you prevent an accident or arrest when you are taking a medication that affects your driving? If you are only taking the medicine for a short period of time, a simple solution is to refrain from driving until the medication is out of your system. However, a long-term prescription requires a long-term answer. Your doctor or pharmacist may have advice about taking the medicine at a certain time to help you avoid impairment while driving, or you could ask about alternative medications that have a reduced risk of driver impairment. If you are hit by an impaired driver, then contact an attorney right away.