Psychotropic medications can increase crash risk: study

Miaoli, Taiwan – Drivers who take psychotropic medications to treat depression, certain sleep disorders or anxiety may have a higher crash risk than drivers who do not take the drugs, according to a study (.pdf file) published in the September issue of the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

Using Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database, researchers analyzed a group of drivers involved in crashes and a group with no record of a crash. Drivers taking antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications and prescription sleeping aids had higher crash rates than drivers not taking the drugs, and risk of crash increased with dosage amount.

Researchers stated that individuals on these medications should pay closer attention to their driving. They encouraged those concerned to continue taking their medication and consult their doctor or pharmacist.

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