FDA Issues Warning that OTC Meds Can Lead to Impaired Driving

FDA Warns Consumers that Over-the-Counter Medications Can Lead to Impaired Driving

impaired drivingA recent warning from the Food and Drug Administration suggests that over-the-counter medications can make consumers too drowsy to drive safely, which can lead to impaired driving charges and accidents.

Many over-the-counter medications already offer warnings about drowsiness, including a statement that the user should not operate heavy machinery while taking the medication. However, the FDA’s statement comes because too many people choose to operate a vehicle while taking low-dose OTC medications that can lead to drowsiness and cause impaired driving accidents.

“You can feel the effects some OTC [over-the-counter] medicines can have on your driving for a short time after you take them, or their effects can last for several hours,” Dr. Ali Mohamadi, a medical officer at FDA, said in a statement. “In some cases, a medicine can cause significant ‘hangover-like’ effects and affect your driving even the next day.”

“If you have not had enough sleep, taking medicine with a side effect that causes drowsiness can add to the sleepiness and fatigue you may already feel,” he added. “Being drowsy behind the wheel is dangerous; it can impair your driving skills.”

The FDA advises that anyone who takes OTC medications should carefully read the warnings and labels to make sure they do not cause an impaired driving accident, or face DUI charges for their impaired driving. Statements that can indicate impairment include “you may get drowsy,” “marked drowsiness will occur,” “Be careful when driving a motor vehicle or operating machinery” or “Do not drive a motor vehicle or operate machinery when using this product.”

The FDA also listed common OTC medications that can cause drowsiness and impaired driving. Antihistamines, antidiarrheals, and anti-emetics can all cause the user to feel sleepy or groggy, and if that person gets behind the wheel of a car, it can lead to a serious car accident or DUI charges.

Impaired Driving Accident and Wrongful Death Litigation in South Carolina

car accident can transform a routine drive into a life-changing catastrophe. Every year, thousands of drivers end up in a South Carolina car wreck, and on average about 800 of them will lose their lives.

Typical causes of car accidents include driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (referred to as driving under the influence, or DUI), automobile defect, failed maintenance, failing to be careful, speeding, running stops signs or stop lights, failing to yield the right of way, not paying attention because of using cell phone or PDA, adjusting radio or DVD player, or eating while driving.

If a loved one dies as a result of the negligence, recklessness, DUI, or intentional conduct of another, you may be entitled to bring a claim for wrongful death. A wrongful death lawsuit asserts a claim against a person who can be held legally responsible for a death.  Surviving family members may be entitled to damages; money that can help with the expenses caused by the loss of their loved one.

Impaired driving, whether it is from alcohol, illegal drugs, or even over-the-counter medications, is a serious road hazard that can lead to a car accident.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with DUI or Impaired Driving Car Accidents

Although many of the people we represent in these cases are from right here in South Carolina, our lawyers routinely take clients from throughout the Southeastern U.S. and, in certain types of product liability or pharmaceutical cases, from across the country as well. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed through no fault of your own, whether from a defective product or in an impaired driver car accident, you may have a personal injury or wrongful death case. Contact the South Carolina personal injury accident attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC today for a free, no-cost consultation today. 803.252.4800

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