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Can medications make drivers more prone to accidents?

On Behalf of | Jul 18, 2023 | Car Accidents

Medications help address various problems in the body, but many also cause side effects. These adverse effects are not always severe, but some might be bad enough to impair a person’s ability to drive safely. Here are some common over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications and how they might be dangerous to drivers.

Allergy medications

Some antihistamines cause drowsiness and may slow down a driver’s reaction time. Antihistamines are also an ingredient in some sleeping medications.

Sleeping medications

It is dangerous to drive immediately after taking sleeping medicine. However, the effects of some drugs can persist, and drivers might remain sleepy even though they took the medication the night before.


Loperamide is a popular medicine for treating diarrhea. Among its side effects are dizziness and drowsiness, making it potentially risky for drivers.

Cold medicines

Certain medicines used for treating colds may cause nausea, drowsiness and blurred vision, impairing a person’s ability to drive safely.

Anxiety medication

Some drugs for treating anxiety and panic disorders work by relaxing the muscles and slowing down the central nervous system. Taking these medicines before driving is dangerous, as they might cause dizziness, drowsiness and slower reaction times.

Seizure medications

Certain drugs that help treat seizures might lead to dizziness and abnormal body movements, which will likely impair a driver’s coordination.


Some prescription drugs belong to this category. They speed up bodily functions but can also impair a person’s perception and memory, increasing their risk of being in an accident.

It helps to check the label before taking any medicine and avoid operating a vehicle if the drug can cause impairing side effects. For people who suffer injuries because of drivers impaired by medications, a personal injury attorney can help protect their rights and seek compensation from the responsible parties.