Aug 31, 2021


Interviewer: Driving while taking medications can make driving dangerous according to Dr. Scott Youngquist, an emergency room physician. Dr. Youngquist, what should we know?

Dr. Youngquist: Many medications, either prescribed or over the counter, can cause drowsiness or impair driving. Things like opiate pain medications, sedative hypnotic medications, anti-histamines or sleep agents, some of those can often have a spillover effect into the daytime after you've taken it at night for sleep.

Interviewer: Oh, so it could actually have a delayed effect as well?

Dr. Youngquist: Yeah, sometimes you get some sleep, you clock some hours, but you're still sleep deprived. You didn't get good sleep over the night.

Interviewer: Got you. So if you're taking one of these types of medications, will I know if I'm okay to drive or not?

Dr. Youngquist: You may not know what your reaction time is, and many of these medications affect your ability to react.

Interviewer: So your advice if somebody's on one of these types of medications?

Dr. Youngquist: Let somebody else drive.

updated: August 31, 2021
originally published: November 6, 2017

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