Although not as an immediately obvious driving hazard as alcohol, prescription drugs can be equally mind altering and equally deadly. It is the job of pharmacists to affix warning labels to any drug that may have a mind altering effect on patients that may render them unsafe to drive.
A pharmacist forgetting to put a warning label on a drug is a form of pharmacy error and if that action causes serious injury or death to an innocent person, the pharmacist or pharmacy tech can be found liable for negligence or wrongful death. It is important to realize that there is always a possibility for pharmacy error when picking up a prescription drug. It is always best to take the drug for the first time in a safe setting-such as in your living room-to find out how exactly it will effect you before you try to do an activity which may be dangerous such as driving.
Common Prescription Drugs Which Affect Mental Awareness
For some people who are incredibly sensitive to drugs, a drug that normally does not have any adverse mental side effects may render them unfit to drive. But for the most part, there are select drugs which can cause serious mental impairment. Some of these drugs include:
Pain killers which contain opiates
Antihistamines which are not labeled as non drowsy. Even non drowsy antihistamines may have an adverse effect on some people and should be tested before driving.
If you have are unsure about the possible effects of a certain drug, you can ask your pharmacist any questions you may have. If you are still unsure or wish to double check, most drugs with lists of side effects can be found on the internet.