Taking Prozac? Don’t drive: Pills raise risk of you having an accident by 70%

Read Time:2 Minute, 21 Second

By Sophie Borland

PUBLISHED:19:15 EST, 12  September 2012| UPDATED:19:15 EST, 12 September 2012


Taking common antidepressants heightens the risk of accidents greatly 

Taking common antidepressants heightens the risk of  accidents greatly

Taking happy pills before driving makes you  more prone to accidents, researchers claim.

They have found that taking common  antidepressants such as Prozac and Seroxat heightens the risk by 70 per  cent.

Even patients who have only been on the pills  for a few hours are far more likely to have a crash if they get behind the  wheel.

Although some manufacturers put warning  notices on boxes telling patients their judgment may be impaired, they don’t  specifically tell them not to drive.

But it is now thought that the same chemical  changes that improve mood among those who take the pills also slows down  reaction times.

Researchers say the study shows that doctors  should be banning patients from getting behind the wheel as soon as they put  them on a course of drugs.

Recently the number prescriptions for  antidepressants have soared and last year nearly 50 million were handed out, a  rise of a quarter in four years.

Campaigners have blamed the economic woes but  also say GPs have become better at diagnosing the illness so are more likely to  hand out the pills.

Researchers from the University of Taiwan  looked at data on 36,000 and compared the likelihood of them having an accident  to whether they were on antidepressants.

They also looked at other drugs including  sleeping pills and antipsychotics which are taken for mental illnesses as well  as dementia.

Collectively all of these drugs are known as  psychotropic medication which means they affect mental activity or  behaviour.

Those taking a common group of  antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) which  include Prozac and Seroxat were 72 per cent more at risk.

Careful: It is now thought that the same chemical changes that improve moods also slow down reaction times 

Careful: It is now thought that the same chemical  changes that improve moods also slow down reaction times

Even patients who had only started the course  of drugs that day were 74 per cent more likely to have an accident within 24  hours than those not on medication.

Those on a type of sleeping pills called  benzodiazepines were 56 per cent more at risk of accidents while antipsychotics  increased the likelihood by just 9 per cent.

Lead researcher Hui-Ju Tsai, who is based at  the National Health Research Institutes in Zhunan, Taiwan, said: ‘ Our findings  underscore that people taking these psychotropic drugs should pay increased  attention to their driving performance in order to prevent motor vehicle  accidents.

‘Doctors and pharmacists should choose safer  treatments, provide their patients with accurate information and consider  advising them not to drive while taking certain psychotropic  medications

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2202434/Taking-Prozac-Don-t-drive-Pills-raise-risk-having-accident-70.html#ixzz26Jv7cMR3

Categories: All Posts, Lethal or Unintended Side Effects, Pharmaceutical - Medical Devices

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