Can over-the-counter medications affect your driving abilities?

On Behalf of | Dec 9, 2021 | DUI |

Some medications you buy over-the-counter can affect your driving abilities. Awareness of these effects can help you avoid possible charges of driving under the influence.

If you take OTC drugs to treat minor illnesses, aches or pains, get the facts about how to drive safely when using these products.

OTC meds that impact driving

Allergy medications, antihistamines, diarrhea medications, drugs for motion sickness, diet pills, sleep aids, and OTC meds containing caffeine, ephedrine, pseudoephedrine) can make it difficult to operate a motor vehicle safely.

The Food and Drug Administration says you should not drive after taking an OTC medication if you experience nausea, vomiting, dizziness, blurry vision, drowsiness, sleepiness, difficulty with attention or focus, slowed reaction time or unusual excitability.

Safety steps to take

If you take these types of drugs, read the label carefully to learn about the potential effects. Ask your doctor if you are unsure how a certain medication may impact you or if you have questions about whether you should drive.

Be aware of after-effects, especially with sleep medications. You could feel dangerously drowsy during your commute the next morning.

Never mix alcohol with OTC or prescription medications. Even just one drink can seriously diminish your driving abilities when combined with other substances that affect function.

Follow the medication instructions carefully. Taking too many doses or an overly large dose of an OTC drug can amplify its possible side effects. Tell your doctor about all the drugs you take, including OTC meds and herbal supplements, to look for possible interactions.

If you face DUI charges in Georgia and took OTC medication prior to driving, this information could affect your legal defense.