Medications and Driving

Medications and Driving

Which medications can affect driving?


All medications have the ability to cause side effects regardless of whether they are prescribed by a physician or purchased over-the-counter.

Even herbal supplements may have side effects. Reactions often vary depending on a person’s body chemistry.

Make sure you always double check the warning labels and speak to your health care professional prior to starting new medications or supplements. Some medications which commonly have side effects include:

  • allergy
  • anxiety
  • cold
  • depression
  • diabetes
  • heart and cholesterol
  • high blood pressure
  • muscle relaxers
  • pain
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Schizophrenia

How do medications impair driving?

Some common side effects to watch for are:

  • sleepiness
  • blurred vision
  • slowed movement
  • fainting
  • inability to focus or pay attention
  • nausea
  • confusion

I take multiple medications; Does this Increase my risk for impairment?

The more medications you use, the greater the risk they will affect your ability to drive safely. Talk to your Doctor or Pharmacist regularly about all the medicines you’re taking including over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements.

Can I still drive safely if I am taking medications?

Yes, most people can still drive safely while on medication. You should work closely with your Doctor to help minimize any negative side effects.

Does allergy medication affect my ability to drive?

Yes, allergy medication may affect your ability to drive due to the following ingredients:

  • Brompheniramine
  • Chlorpheniramine
  • Clemastine
  • Diphenhydramine
  • Doxylamine

What other active ingredients in Over-the-Counter (OTC) Drugs may impair my ability to drive safely?

  • Cetirizine
  • Chlorcyclizine
  • Codeine
  • Dexbrompheniramine
  • Dexchlorpheniramine
  • Dextromethorphan
  • Dimenhydrinate
  • Loperamide
  • Meclizine
  • Naproxen
  • Panabrom
  • Phenindamine
  • Pheniramine
  • Pyrilamine
  • Thonzylamine
  • Triprolidine