Some medicines and driving don’t mix

Medicine driving

The Depart­ment of Health and the Nursing Care Quality Assur­ance Commis­sion are working with the Washington Traffic Safety Commis­sion to help spread the word about impaired driving from prescrip­tion and nonpre­scrip­tion drugs.

Many people only think of alcohol and illicit drugs with impaired driving. Although most medica­tions won’t affect your ability to drive, some prescrip­tion and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs can have side effects and cause reactions that may make it unsafe to drive. Some medicines can affect your driving for a short time after you take them. For others, the effects can last for several hours, and even the next day. And some medicines have a warning to not operate heavy machinery — this includes driving a car.

Look for oppor­tu­ni­ties on how you can help consult with your patients to make sure they are aware of any impaired drive risks with the prescrip­tion and nonpre­scrip­tion drugs they may be taking.

For more infor­ma­tion, visit the U.S. Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion website.