Preserving the Ability to React in a Timely Fashion: 5 Medications You Should Never Take While Driving

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Being alert, clear vision, and ability to concentrate and react in a timely fashion are vital for safe driving. However, you may not be able to drive safely when taking some prescriptions or OTC meds for lifestyle and other related reasons. Some medicines have side effects that can affect your ability to drive well and carefully hence could cause a road accident which could be fatal. Fortunately, not all medicines can be unfavorable for your driving. The following is a list of some medications that you should avoid while driving, please read on.

  • Antidepressants

Antidepressants like tricyclics and Trazodone can make you drowsy and slow to react. There are also other SSRI depressants such as Lexapro and Prozac that can cause insomnia associated with feelings of tiredness and slow reaction. This could be dangerous both for you and other motorists on the road. The worst case scenario can occur should you combine antidepressants and alcohol as the effects could be severe.

Should you or a loved one gets injured because someone else was negligent on the road, you can consult one of the auto law injury lawyers familiar with handling similar motor vehicle crashes to advise you on the necessary steps to follow.  

  • Antihistamines

Most antihistamine medications are associated with causing blurred vision and sleepiness which can affect your concentration on the road. However, other choices are non-drowsy and include Zyrtec and Allegra. Therefore, you should always read the label before taking these medications to check if they’re non-drowsy. The simplest way of knowing if any of these medications will make you sleepy is to check if any of the ingredients end in “amine.”   

  • Pain Relievers

Most pain relievers, for example, opiates like codeine and morphine, are known to cause disorientation, euphoria, dizziness, and sleepiness which can affect your ability to concentrate while driving. There are also other OTC pain relievers like ibuprofen that won’t make you dizzy or sleepy for a while, but its feeling of relaxation can affect how you coordinate and react. When these medications cause your pain to drop off, your adrenalin also drops, and you’ll feel exhausted and relieved; hence your coordination and judgment become poor.

  • Muscle Relaxants and Antianxiety Agents

When you take muscle relaxant medications such as Xanax and Valium, they can bring a tranquilizing effect on your body that could affect your judgement and time of reaction. This might not be something any good for your driving. You need to be keen not to take some of the relaxation or natural sleep products as they may not be that natural as claimed. They could come with unfavorable side effects that could impair your ability to drive well.  

  • Antihypertensives

If you’re having problems with your blood pressure, you should avoid taking blood pressure medications while driving or just before you hit the road. These medications, especially the beta blockers, can cause you to experience listlessness. They can annihilate your energy when they start functioning on your body, and you may become sluggish for up to a week or two.   


Some medications – such as those explained above –could have different side effects that could affect your driving ability. Driving under drug influence is punishable by law regardless of whether the drugs are legal or illegal. Ensure to consult your personal injury attorney to help you seek legal practice should you or a family member gets injured because someone else was driving under certain drug influence. Most importantly, when you feel that your ability to drive is being affected by your medications, stop driving but continue taking your medications. You may also refer to other blogs relating to auto law to learn more about driving and taking medicines. Stay safe!  

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