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Drugs and driving

Abstract

The Problem - Many drugs may adversely affect driving performance, athough doctors do not always warn their patients of this possibility.1 Every doctor should be familiar with possible unwanted reactions or interactions of drugs he prescribes and with the driving licence regulations, and should advise his patients accordingly. It is an offence to drive or be in charge of a vehicle when the ability to drive is impaired by drugs. A licence holder must notify any relevant or prospective disability which is likely to last more than 3 months to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Centre. Relevant means a disability which could possibly be a source of danger to the public while driving. This article mainly deals with drugs which might impair driving but whose unwanted effects may be so unobtrusive that they are ignored by the patient. Laws relating to alcohol are not considered here. Some drugs (e.g. anticonvulsants for epilepsy)2 may make driving safer.

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