Antidepressants Increase Risk of Car Accidents by 70%

By: George Mikhail

Drivers taking antidepressants, sleeping aids, and other psychotropic drugs are at higher risk of suffering a motor vehicle accident according to a recent study by the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. The study results indicate that taking Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants, including drugs like Paxil or Prozac, before driving increases the risk of a car accident by more than 70%. Patients taking tricyclics (TCA), sleep aids often known as Z-drugs, and benzodiazepines are also at high risk of motor vehicle accidents. Psychotropic medication impairs the driver's ability to react and the capacity to control the car.

While drug manufacturers put warning labels on the drugs, they do not explicitly write that you can not drive while on the medication. Researchers are suggesting that doctors should advise patients taking these drugs not to drive.