A recent study found that certain common prescription drugs used to treat conditions like depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders can actually increase the risk of car accidents.
According to the study, which was published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, an individual’s risk of a car accident may increase if he takes medications that are used to treat these conditions.In fact, the links between these medications and an increased risk of car accidents is strong enough for researchers to warn doctors that they should alert patients who are taking these medications not to drive after taking them.
The researchers specifically focused on on psychotropic drugs that are often used to treat depression and anxiety.These drugs can alter the way the brain functions.Ultimately, the side effects of the drug can impair the person’s ability to control a vehicle.
Several studies have also found a link between the use of such psychotropic medications and accidents.However, most of these earlier studies focused on specific drugs like diazepam, more popularly known as Valium.However, researchers now believe that newer drugs like Sonata, Ambien, and Lunesta that are used to treat insomnia can also increase the risks of an accident.
There are some drugs used for treating depression and anxiety that provide a valuable benefit to those who take them.However, with any medication, the person taking it and their doctor must be very cognizant of the potential side effects and risks associated with driving a truck, motorcycle, automobile, or operating heavy equipment, etc.
The researchers analyzed 2 groups of drug users, and the data came from the Taiwanese National Health Insurance Program.The first group of people contained more than 5,100 people who were involved in motor vehicle accidents.The 2nd group had more than 31,000 people, who were matched for their age, the year in which the vehicle accident occurred as well as gender.The 2nd group of people had no record of being involved in any automobile accident.
The researchers found that people who were involved in accidents were much more likely to have been on psychotropic medications to treat depression, anxiety and insomnia.Some of these people had been taking these medications for just one day, while others had been taking for them for at least one month.The researchers found that higher doses are associated with a much higher risk of being involved in an accident.