Pharmacists prescribe not driving while using medication

Medication while driving is not prescribed by Pharmacists / Matt Prichard

Knowing the dangers of drunk driving is important, but what about medicated driving? A new survey from the Auto Club shows that 82% of drivers 65 and older are taking some form of prescription medication.

"Only about half of them have talked to their doctor about possible safety issues related to those medications and how those are interacting while their driving," said AAA spokeswoman, Michele Harris.

Seniors in Albany though stand firm saying they would never be under the influence of their medication while behind the wheel.

"I'm not going to drink anything nor do any of that while driving, because I think at my age I have to be extra careful," said Albany resident, Shirley Cochran.

Others say they wouldn't take their meds while driving, but generally have taken a dose earlier in the day.

"You mean would I take it while I'm driving? No, I would stop," said Albany resident, Thomas Ledford.

But not all medications can cause impaired driving, however pharmacist Stan Crawford says there are some key meds to be aware of.

"That can happen with any kind of pain medication they may be taking, some of the anti-anxiety drugs can do that, something with an antihistamine in it can do that," said Crawford.

Crawford went on to say that it is vital for seniors to be aware of the side-effects to their medications, simply to protect themselves.

"Their reaction times will not be as quick, they may be a little disoriented at times, and their depth perception can be affected," said Crawford.

Crawford recommends that seniors test out a medication without driving first, and see how it affects them. And most importantly consult with their doctor about potential side effects.

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