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24-Sep-12 7:00 AM  CST  

Antidepressants, Sleeping Pills, and Anti-Anxiety Medications May Increase Driving Risk 

According to a recent study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, some medications may increase the risk of accidents.  The medications that can increase this risk are antidepressants, sleeping pills, and anti-anxiety medications.  As far as the anti-anxiety drugs go, research from links pin-point benzodiazepines.  Less attention was given to Z-drugs, sleeping pills, and antipsychotics (even at high doses).  The findings heed a warning to doctors and psychiatrists to encourage patients to pay even more careful attention to their driving habits or not drive at all while on these types of drugs.  In addition, researchers do not suggest that patients skip their meds, but if they are concerned about taking the medication and driving that they should contact their doctor or pharmacist. 

Lead researcher Hui-Ju Tsai, based at the National Health Research Institutes in Zhunan, Taiwan, commented on the recent findings.  “Our findings underscore that people taking these psychotropic drugs should pay increased attention to their driving performance in order to prevent motor vehicle accidents.  Doctors and pharmacists should choose safer treatments, provide their patients with accurate information, and consider advising them not to drive while taking certain psychotropic medications.”

Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians can pass on this valuable research and information to patients so they can make informed and educated choices concerning their health care and well-being.        

1. “Antidepressants, Sleeping Pills, And Anxiety Drugs May Increase Driving Risk.”  ScienceDaily.  Web. 10 Sept 2012. 

2. “Antidepressants May Impair Your Ability To Drive.”  Business Standard.  Web. 13 Sept 2012.

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For additional information on this News article, please contact:

Jennifer O'Reilly

Source: NPTAnews

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