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Prescription medication and driving: Things you need to know

Although prescription medication is designed to improve your health, don't overlook the many potential side effects. If you neglect to discuss this with your doctor and pharmacist, it's possible you could make a costly error, such as operating a motor vehicle at the wrong time.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) makes it clear that you should double-check the side effects of your medication before driving. While most medications won't hinder your ability to operate a motor vehicle, some do. They cause side effects such as:

  • Blurred vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Slowed movement
  • Dizziness
  • Inability to focus
  • Excitability
  • Nervousness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fainting

It's difficult enough to drive safely when your mind is 100 percent clear. If you add prescription drugs into the mix, it becomes even more complicated.

What types of medications are most dangerous?

While you should always rely on feedback from your medical team, some types of prescription medications are known to impact the ability to drive. These include but are not limited to:

  • Antidepressants
  • Medication for anxiety
  • Any product with codeine
  • Sleeping pills
  • Pain relievers
  • Some allergy medications
  • Diet pills

Furthermore, if you combine prescription medication with alcohol or an illicit drug, there's an even greater chance of an adverse side effect.

What are the legal issues?

Even though it's dangerous, many people assume they're legally permitted to drive under the influence of prescription medication. This isn't the case, as an arrest for driving under the influence is possible.

If you're convicted of this crime, it could lead to serious punishment including: license suspension, fine and community service. Furthermore, a DUI conviction of any kind is likely to increase your insurance premium and could even affect your professional standing.

If you're arrested and charged with driving under the influence of prescription medication, don't hesitate to consult with your medical team and learn more about your legal rights.

You want to collect as much information as possible, as every last detail will work in your favor as you attempt to prevent a conviction in Texas.

Even if you're extremely cautious, it's easy to lose track of what you're doing and take prescription medication before driving.

If you're facing DUI charges, review the many pages of our website dedicated to this subject matter.

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