Over-the-counter cold remedies can lead to drowsiness

November 1st, 2010 - 10:58 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Nov 1 (IANS) Over-the-counter cough and cold remedies could make you drowsy, similar to being drunk, and unsafe on the roads, warn doctors.

Over-the-counter medication, as well as prescription drugs, can lead to drowsiness which is similar to being drunk, says a medical expert.

Warnings on packets of cough and cold medicines are often hard to find, say experts, with some calling for a traffic light scheme to alert users to potential driving hazards.

These drugs include medicines for allergies, coughs, anti-nausea travel sickness treatments and sleep remedies, reports the Daily Mail.

Adults catch on average two to four colds a year, and with the start of the official colds and flu season millions will be dosing up on medication they wrongly believe will not affect their driving, says Chris Steele, a general physician. Mixing it with alcohol can worsen the effect, he said.

Steele, resident health expert for ITV’s This Morning programme, said: “In some circumstances driving while impaired by medication can be as dangerous as drink-driving.

“Drivers taking medication should always check with their doctor or pharmacist before they drive.”

Steele is backing an initiative by road safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist to raise awareness about the problem.

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