Be Careful with Allergy Medication!

Source: CBS4

Summer is allergy season and many people take over the counter allergy medications. However, if you are behind the wheel, certain allergy medications can cause you to feel drowsy. According to medical experts and pharmacists, some allergy medicines, both over the counter and those available by prescription, can impair the ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.

“A lot of over-the-counter medications can cause fatigue, decrease awareness, and decrease reactive time, too,” explained allergy and asthma specialist Dr. Jennifer Collins.

Some patients need to strike a balance between relief from their seasonal allergies to feeling alert enough to perform day-to-day activities. For some patients, the  prescribed regimen is allergy shots that eliminate the need for medications that can make a person drowsy and sluggish.

According to Dr. Clifford Basset, director of Allergy and Asthma Care, the shots can be very beneficial. “Greater than 90-percent relief, long term relief, and that’s what we’re looking for,” explained Dr. Basset.

Dr. Basset also stressed that many over-the-counter medications come with dangerous side effects. Being aware of the potential side effects of these easily available medications is important.

“Decongestants may be associated with rapid heart rate, problems with glaucoma, and also blood pressure,” said Dr. Basset. “They (patients) don’t read the label and I’m concerned about what I call drowsy driving – people driving around taking antihistamines and so forth that are sedating.”

The incidence of accidents caused by over-the-counter medicines has much solid data behind it, however according to highway safety experts say that the cause is rarely put in an accident report. According to experts it is important that allergy sufferers read the labels of all medications and know the potential side effects.

To reduce the potential for these accidents AAA is offering a free service on its website to explain the side effects of various medications. The website can be found at:

The use of allergy medications, available both over-the-counter and prescription, can bring welcome relief for those who suffer from seasonal allergies, but they can leave a person feeling drowsy. If this happens to you and you must drive, take precautions immediately to insure that you get to your destination safely without injuring yourself or others. If possible, avoid driving while on allergy or cold medication. Speak to your physician about the possibility of having long-acting allergy shots to help reduce or eliminate the need for taking cold medications.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident caused by allergy medications, give our offices a call.  We can match you with one of our experienced attorneys who will go over the details of your case. They are there to listen and to give you suggestions and advice to help you and can tell you what your case may be worth. If you have damages, medical costs and the cost of long term treatment, you may be entitled to compensation. Your initial consultation with our offices is confidential, and without cost or obligation to you.