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15-Oct-14 11:00 AM  CST  

FDA Releases Consumer Update On How Some OTC Medications Can Affect A Patientís Driving Ability 

As pharmacy technicians we all know that some prescription drugs can affect a patient’s driving skills. In recent months, concerns over individuals driving the next day after they have taken medications like sleep drugs have become quite a health concern, and the FDA has asked that some dosages be lowered to lesson the ‘hangover’ affect. Some OTC medications can have the same results. Here is a look at some safety tips concerning OTC meds that may impair driving ability:


  • Choose wisely.  The FDA recommends choosing OTC medications wisely. Both prescription and OTC medications have side-effects and patients should take a careful look at the Drug Facts label on each drug they choose. The Drug Facts label can help them make a better decision as to what drug they need for an illness.  Pharmacy technicians should remind individuals to ask the pharmacist or pharmacy manager if they need help understanding a Drug Facts label.


  • Use as directed.  This may sound simple, but there are some people that will not use the product as directed. Taking too little or too much of an OTC drug can be just as dangerous as not taking prescription drugs as directed.


  • Antihistamines, Antidiarrheals, and Anti-emetics.  These three medications are just a few of the many meds that can impair and impact driving ability and the safe use of machinery.


            The full FDA Consumer Update on “Caution: Some Over-The Counter Medicines May Affect Your Driving” may be downloaded by going to: 

Consider printing out copies of the update and ask your pharmacist if you can give out the info along with the patient’s prescription. Pharmacy technicians want nothing more than to educate and promote patient safety. Be safe and well!




1.  FDA Consumer Update. “Caution:  Some Over-The-Counter Medicines May Affect Your Driving.” Web. Date of Access: 13 Oct 2014. 

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Source: Jennifer S. OíReilly

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