What medications you should avoid if you are going to drive

source: fda.gov

Have you ever wondered if your medications can cause any danger when you are behind the wheel?

While most are safe, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended avoiding any type of risk before operating vehicles, such as cars, buses, trains, planes, or boats.

Here we tell you what drugs you should take into account for this.

Although drugs do not normally affect the ability to drive, the FDA warns that their side effects could pose a risk to road safety. These are:

  • Fainting.
  • Excitability.
  • Inability to focus or pay attention.
  • Dizziness
  • Slow movements
  • Sickness.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Blurry vision.

These effects can last a few minutes, although there are situations in which it lasts for hours and even until the next day.

For this reason, some medications have recommendations not to be consumed when operating heavy machinery, which includes driving vehicles. These are some examples:

Opioid pain relievers, such as Codeine, Fentanyl, Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone, Meperidine, Morphine, Oxycodone, or Tramadol.

Anticonvulsants , such as carbamazepine (Carbatrol or Tegretol), phenytoin (Dilantin), or oxcarbazepine (Trileptal).

Antidepressants, such as citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil or Pexeva), or sertraline (Zoloft). 

Antihistamines (prescription or nonprescription), such as brompheniramine (Dimetapp), clemastine (Tavist), chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton), diphenhydramine (Benadryl), fexofenadine (Allegra), or loratadine (Alavert, Claritin, or Dimetapp ND).

Antipsychotics, such as aripiprazole (Agility), clozapine (Clozaril or FazaClo), quetiapine (Seroquel), risperidone (Risperdal), or ziprasidone (Geodon).

Medications for anxiety, such as benzodiazepines Alprazolam, Chlorazepam, Diazepam, Lorazepam).

Medicines for diarrhea, such as bismuth (Kaopectate, Pepto-Bismol), loperamide (Imodium), or rehydrators (Enfalyte or Pedialyte).

Medications for dizziness, such as dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) or meclizine (Antivert, Bonine, Postafen, or Sea Legs).

Muscle relaxants, such as carisoprodol (Soma or Vanadom), cyclobenzaprine (Amrix or Flexeril), Diazepam (Valium or Valrelease), or Methocarbamol (Robaxin or Robxisal).

Diet pills and other medications with stimulants, such as caffeine, ephedrine, or pseudoephedrine.

You also shouldn't mix these medications with alcohol.

Trouble sleeping

Other medications that can be harmful are those used to sleep, such as:


.. Eszopiclone (Lunesta)..




Although these are usually taken at night, they can have sequelae the next morning, making people less capable of activities for which they must be fully alert.

Other tips

You can adopt the following measures to reduce the risk of accidents:

Consult your doctors or pharmacists about known side effects of medications..

Follow the directions for use and read the warnings on the medicine packaging or the brochures provided by the pharmacy..

Inform your doctor of all the products you are taking, including prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal. Also, let him know about any reactions you experience.