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Seniors: should you be driving on your medication?

If you are over the age of 65 in Ohio, chances are you have at least one prescription medication you are regularly taking. Whether it is for pain maintenance, allergies, medicine for a cough or something else, many medications can cause side effects.

If you are using a medication that can impair your ability to drive and you get pulled over, you can potentially be charged with Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence. If you want to avoid this fate, here is what you need to know:

Talk to your doctor about medications

AAA advises that if you are talking to your doctor about a new prescription, you should make sure to ask about any side effects. Also be clear about what other medications you are taking, as sometimes drugs that do not have impairing side effects on their own can cause impairment when they interact with something else you are taking.

If your doctor advises that you refrain from driving while using the medication, listen to his or her advice. You also may be able to work out a dosing schedule that will not affect your driving, such as taking the medication before you go to bed instead of in the morning.

Medications known to impair driving

Some medications that you can be prescribed can affect your reaction time, decision-making, perception or vision. Types of medicines that are known to cause one or more of these effects include decongestants, antihistamines, cough medicines, some antidepressants, sleep medicines, pain pills and tranquilizers.

Make sure you are aware of how a new medication affects you before you take to the roads, and if you are unsure, always follow your doctor’s advice.