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Did you know that around 75% of all serious crashes on WA roads involve a mistake, a momentary lapse in attention or being tired?2  Some medicines can be a contributing factor, influencing how alert we are. Knowing about the risks and side effects can empower you to better manage life on the road.

The way our bodies process food, drinks and medication can change as we age.

All medications can cause side effects, and these side effects can increase if you take more than one medication. Side effects from medications can start appearing, even if you have never experienced side effects before.

Any medication with side effects can cause problems with concentration, alertness, vision and reaction time, this can have serious consequences when performing complex tasks.  

1 in 3 Australians take more than one prescribed medication in a week.1 

Operating machinery and/or driving, particularly operating a heavy vehicle is a complex task that requires you to be alert and respond quickly. Anything that is disruptive to performing the driving task, securing your load, or even getting in and out of the vehicle, can have serious consequences to yourself and others sharing the road. 

Did you know that around 75% of all serious crashes on WA roads involve a mistake, a momentary lapse in attention or being tired?2  Some medicines can be a contributing factor, influencing how alert we are. Knowing about the risks and side effects can empower you to better manage life on the road.

Common side effects fromeffects includefrom medications to look out for:  

  • Feeling sleepy or tired 
  • Changes in vision (e.g., blurred, double vision) 
  • Dizziness, light-headed or faint feeling  
  • Muscle weakness  
  • Feeling unsteady or anxious  
  • Changes in mood (e.g., feeling angry) 
  • Slow reaction time 
  • Difficulty concentrating or feeling confused 

The way your medications interact with each other can affect your performance.  Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of your medication.   

Medications include:  

  • prescriptions by a GP or doctor;  
  • over the counter from pharmacies, supermarkets and health food stores (this includes ointments, tablets, syrups, inhalers and suppositories);  
  • herbal and homeopathic products including vitamin and mineral supplements. 

Knowing your medicines can help keep you safe, bringing you home at the end of each trip. Ask your pharmacist or your GP about your medications, or  visit our information and support page for helpful links below.


References

  1. NPS MedicineWise. With millions taking multiple medicines, Australians are reminded to Be MedicineWise. NPS MedicineWise https://www.nps.org.au/media/with-millions-taking-multiple-medicines-australians-are-reminded-to-be-medicine-wise (2018)
  2. Road Safety Commission. Driving Change: Road Safety Strategy for Western Australia. Road Safety Commission https://www.rsc.wa.gov.au/RSC/media/Documents/Road%20Data/Driving-Change-WA-Road-Safety-Strategy-2020-2030-FINAL.pdf  (2020).

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