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Medications and Your Risk for a Drowsy Driving Car Accident

December 31, 1969

Your sleep meds might not be as strong as they once were. That's if officials with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have their way.

According to CBS News, medications like Ambien might leave drivers feeling too groggy in the morning and might actually be increasing their risks for a potentially fatal accident.
The FDA wants you to know that a lot of medications can actually have this effect on you. Allergy medicine is one of them. So maybe it's time you take a look through your medicine cabinet to identify your risks.

Our Los Angeles car accident attorneys understand that we're in the heart of allergy season and residents and visitors throughout the state are loading up on those antihistamines. But it's those same individuals who should be cautious when they get behind the wheel.

"Any of these reactions can negatively interfere with driving or operating heavy machinery," Dr. Jane File with the FDA.

When you encounter something you might be allergic to, your body takes control and starts to product histamines. When this chemical is released into the body, you get stuffy because the tissue in your nose swells. When you take the medicines that can block these histamines, you can feel slow, unfocused and even drowsy -- which is why you shouldn't be driving.

Your best bet is to take a look at the label before consuming. If you have stuff to do during the day, like operate machinery, drive or any other focus-driven activity, then you should be taking your medicines at night.

You also want to make sure that you're not mixing antihistamines and alcohol. This can increase your level of drowsiness and can also have some serious side effects.

Make sure you're reading the label of your medications -- front and back. If your medicine isn't working for you -- the answer isn't to just up the dosage. In this scenario, you want to talk with a healthcare professional to find an alternative treatment.

According to, roughly 60 percent of adult drivers - or close to 170 million people - say they have driven a vehicle while feeling drowsy in the past year, and more than a third have actually fallen asleep at the wheel! In fact, of those who have nodded off, close to 15 percent say they have done so at least once a month. Four percent - approximately 11 million drivers - admit they have had an accident or near accident because they dozed off or were too tired to drive.

Never get behind the wheel if you're feeling sleepy. Drowsy driving is more powerful than you think and could wind up taking your life.

Contact Howard Law, PC today, if you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident. Call today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case. 1-800-872-5925.

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