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Medications Might Affect Your Driving

image of medications

Did you know that many medications may impair your ability to drive? See the list in this article to learn about medicines that could be dangerous for driving by affecting your ability to make decisions, your reaction time, and more.

Some drugs that could make it dangerous to drive include:

  • Opioid pain relievers
  • Prescription drugs for anxiety (for example, benzodiazepines)
  • Anti-seizure drugs (antiepileptic drugs)
  • Antipsychotic drugs
  • Some antidepressants
  • Products containing codeine
  • Sleeping pills including medicines containing Zolpidem
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Diet pills, “stay awake” drugs, and other medications with stimulants (e.g., caffeine, ephedrine, pseudoephedrine


Source: fda.gov

Medications can affect vision and perception, decision-making, reaction time, inability to stay focused, dizziness and maneuvering – making it a challenge to safely operate a vehicle, especially when a person first begins to take new medications.

Most common medications that interact with alcohol that effects driving:

  • High blood pressure medication
  • Sleeping pills (sedatives and hypnotics) and Anxiety medication
  • Pain medications (analgesics)
  • Skeletal muscle relaxants
  • Diabetes medicine
  • Cholesterol medications
  • Antidepressants
  • Antipsychotics


Have questions about prescription medications and driving? Ask us, or find a New York State STOP-DWI local county resource.