Could Allergy Medicine Make You Too Drowsy?
As this year’s unusually long and severe allergy season continues, the US Food and Drug Administration has released a statement warning consumers that many common allergy medicines can make you too drowsy to drive. Even if you don’t notice yourself feeling drowsy, you may still experience difficulty focusing and slower reaction times.
Experts predict that allergy season will extend into October in many regions across the country, so make sure you know how your allergy medicine will affect your driving before you hit the road!
Know the Side Effects
- Possible side effects of your allergy medicine will be listed on the Drug Facts label of the medication. Check for any warnings against driving or operating heavy machinery.
- Be especially cautious when taking a new medication, as different drugs may affect you differently!
- Never take alcohol or sleeping medications while you’re taking some allergy medicines. The combination can drastically increase the sedative effects.
- Check out RoadwiseRX, an online resource offered by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, to find out more about the effects of your medications on your driving.
Check Your Dosage
- Allergy medicines come in a variety of dosages. Make sure to check the dosage on the Drug Facts label of the medication, so you know how much you can safely take.
- If the correct dosage isn’t giving you relief, don’t keep taking more - consult your doctor instead.
- Some allergy medicines take longer to kick in than others, and their sedating effects may last longer than you expect - possibly even into the following day.
Looking for More Information?
The FDA offers a guide to Driving When You Are Taking Medications, including topics to cover when discussing your concerns about your ability to drive with your doctor, and alternative transportation resources in case you find you’ll need to cut back on your driving.