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March 17, 2017
Some medicines can have a serious effect on your ability to drive safely. They may even be the cause of a significant number of road deaths.1
Both prescription and over-the-counter medications (bought from a supermarket or pharmacy) can affect your driving skills. These medications include benzodiazepines (minor tranquillisers), antihistamines and antidepressants.1
You can’t always predict the impact of medications on your driving. And may not be aware of their influence until you need to respond quickly on the road.1
In general, medication is most likely to affect your driving skills, and lead to an accident, during the first 4 weeks of starting the medication.3
Doctors, dentists and pharmacists need to tell their clients about any risks associated with medications they prescribe or provide.
The International Council on Alcohol, Drugs & Traffic Safety (ICADTS) compared medications with an equivalent blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for their effect on driving ability (see below).
This is not a complete list and should be used as a general guide only. Drugs affect people differently. Always seek advice from a health professional about medication you’re taking.
|Drug class||Generic name||Estimated BAC equivalent|