How Can Medication Affect Your Driving
Americans are taking more prescription drugs than ever before, with over 55% of us regularly taking prescription medicine. Obviously, these medicines have beneficial effects on our health or our healthcare professionals wouldn’t prescribe them in the first place! But, what other effects are these medicines having on us, and in particular, when we drive? Here at Main Line Adult Day Care, the go-to elderly day care centre serving Montgomery County, Delaware County and the wider Philadelphia region, we feel it’s important to highlight the potential risks involved with taking prescription medicine when driving so you can make an informed and sensible decision to keep yourself, and others around you, safe from harm.
The potential side effects of prescription medication
All medication can have side effects that have the potential to impair your ability to drive safely. Common side effects include blurred vision, confusion, brain fog, drowsiness or dizziness, and all of these can severely hinder your ability cognitive ability – an important factor when it comes to operating a vehicle. When starting a new course of medication, it’s important to take some time to recognize if there are any side effects, such as those listed above, that may affect you before you decide to drive. If you find the medication produces potentially dangerous side effects, talk with your healthcare professional to see if there are ways to relieve the negative effects, and DO NOT drive or operate heavy machinery under the influence of these prescription drugs.
Side effects for the elderly
As we age, our bodies become slower in more ways than just our physical capacity. In particular, our metabolism slows, which has a huge effect on our body’s ability to absorb medication at the usual rate. This means that medication that once only had side effects that lasted say, an hour, now might last for two to three hours. If you are moving into your senior years it’s a good idea to take note of this change in your body and adjust your lifestyle to accommodate it. It may mean that you avoid driving for a longer period after taking medication than you have done in the past.
Mixing medications is also another way to increase the potential likelihood of side effects that may affect your driving skills. While certain medications may have no side effects when taken on their own, they may react in the body to cause dangerous symptoms – so, it’s always a good idea to double check with your healthcare professional before mixing medications. It’s not only prescription medication you need to be aware of – over the counter herbal medications and vitamin supplements can also have drastic effects on your body when mixed with medication, and you should always test these mixtures in a safe environment to ensure there are no dangerous side effects before you get behind the wheel of a car!
As one of the top adult day care providers in Philadelphia, here at Main Line Adult Day Care, we feel we have a duty of care for those who take medication, and it’s our obligation to highlight the potential dangers that come with regularly taking prescription medication. It’s important to follow all the recommendations listed above in order to keep yourself, and the public, safe when you get behind the wheel of a car under the influence of prescription medication.