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Cold medication and driving do not mix

If you are taking medication for a cold or the flu and think you are ok to drive in Massachusetts, you should probably think again. As with other types of drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter medication for colds and the flu come with side effects that can impair your ability to drive. This can lead to arrest and even conviction of driving under the influence, even if you did not consume any alcohol. 

You may understand that a nighttime cold medicine can cause drowsiness, which does affect your ability to stay awake on the road, but WebMD highlights that even daytime cold medicine can have negative side effects that affect driving. You may choose to take this medication to relieve body aches, cough, sore throat, stuffy nose, fever and/or headache. Some of the unwanted side effects of this drug include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Nervousness
  • Confusion 

Alcohol and marijuana can enhance these effects, which makes driving even more dangerous. One of the precautions of this medication is to avoid operating machinery, a motor vehicle or anything else that requires your alertness.

The FDA lists other types of cold-related drugs that negatively affect driving. These include those with codeine, pain relievers, allergy medication and sleeping pills. The Administration recommends if you are taking any of these meds and need to drive, to be smart and take alternative transportation. These may include taxis, getting a ride from friends or family, walking, ride-share vehicles or public transportation. Seniors also may have additional resources they can take advantage of.




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