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Travelers’ Hazard- Antihistamines Make Drowsy Driver

A recent report has zeroed in on a potential threat to those on the road- drivers who handle their vehicle// under the influence of anti-allergy drugs.

A survey of almost 5,000 adults by the survey takers-Privilege Insurance found that one in seven suffered from hayfever or other allergies and almost half of these had driven after taking medication.

Many of those questioned said they had lost concentration at the wheel because of side effects such as drowsiness.

Figures included those like 45 per cent of these having driven while taking medication and nearly 18 per cent admitting that their driving was negatively affected as a result of the medication.

Others were that the equivalent of 3.3 million drivers lost concentration at the wheel due to an impaired reaction caused by illness or medication, and a quarter of drivers admitting to rarely or never checking the side-effects of their remedies before setting off. Just under a quarter of drivers believed there was nothing wrong with driving while on hayfever or allergy medication. The report also found that eight in ten drivers would amend their behavior if they discovered a hayfever medicine might affect their driving.

Says Dr James Lawrie, a GP: "Certain types of drugs or even herbal supplements can affect a person's ability to drive safely and if they are combining several over-the-counter drugs, they could be very dangerous on the road. "It's important that drivers always read the label of any medication they plan to take - either prescribed by a doctor or purchased at their local chemist - and discuss possible side-effects with their pharmacist.”

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