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Drive for Safety: How drugs affect driving

6:41 PM, Jan 31, 2012   |    comments
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AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- You may want to think twice before you get behind the wheel after taking an antihistimine.

It's one of nearly a dozen prescription or over the counter medicines experts say may affect your ability to drive safely.

With so many public campaign focused on the dangers of drinking and driving -- people may not be aware what could happen when you mix driving and an over the counter sleep medication like Sominex.

'They have the potential, the older you are to cause confusion they may last six to 12 hours. it can interfere with drivng a motor vehicle,' said Dr. Daniel Onion.

Dr. Onion specializes in geriatric medicine and is on the medical advisory board of the Department of Motor Vehicles. He says while most medication dosen't affect driving ability, there are number of medications that can slow reflexes, blur vision or cause drowsiness or dizziness. Dr. Onion also says the elderly tend to be more vunerable because they may metabolize drugs more slowly taking longer for the medications to wear off. some of the types of prescription or over-the-counter medications that can contribute to car accidents include: Anabolic steriods, stimulants, narcotic painkillers, cough medicine, antihistamines. hypoglycimic medications, some anti-depressants, over the counter and prescription sleeping medication and axiety medication.

Ask your doctor if you should drive when you first take a new medicaiton.

Also read the label and, research the side effects . if you have to cut back or give up driving due to the medication ride with family or friends or use public transporation. For more information check out http://www.nhtsa.gov or SeniorDrivers.org  

NEWS CENTER

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