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Medications and safe driving

For a general audience

Some medicines can have a serious affect on your ability to drive safely, and may even be the cause of a significant number of road deaths.

Driving ability may be affected by prescribed medications, or by those bought 'over the counter' from a supermarket or pharmacy. These medications include benzodiazepines (minor tranquillisers), antihistamines and antidepressants.

You will not always be able to predict whether a particular medication will affect your driving. You may not even notice that your driving is affected until you find yourself in a situation where you need to respond quickly and accurately to avoid a crash.

In general, medication is most likely to affect your driving skills, and cause you to have an accident, during the first two weeks you are on the course of medication.

This fact sheet provides an overview of some of the different types of prescription and over-the-counter medications that could affect your ability to drive safely.

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Information you heard is intended as a general guide only. This audio is copyrighted by the Australian Drug Foundation. Visit for more