Driving under the influence is a serious problem, life-threatening and causes many traffic accidents. Do we actually know that this also includes driving with certain medicines? And we know that what applies to motorists also applies to cyclists, for example. Every year, the Institute for Responsible Use of Medicine (IVM) draws attention to responsible use of medicines. This year, medicines and traffic are central. According to the IVM, half of adult drug users use a drug that affects driving ability. This often also concerns medicines for which the patient is temporarily or not allowed to drive at all.
Research shows that some of these drug users just drive around anyway, because they have insufficient knowledge about the drug or because they simply don't know it. If your medicine is dangerous for driving, there will be a warning on the label and a yellow sticker on the packaging. The information leaflet of your medicine states whether the medicine can influence driving behaviour. Possible effects of drugs that impair driving are dizziness, drowsiness, difficulty concentrating, blurred vision and impaired coordination. The result is that you react less quickly to unexpected situations, with all the consequences that entails.
Not sure if you can drive with your medicine? Ask your doctor or pharmacist. He or she may prescribe a different medication if necessary. The influence of medicines on driving ability varies according to it IVM. To make this influence clear, they are divided into categories. The higher the category, the more influence the drug has on driving ability. With category I medicines, you are only not allowed to drive if you experience driving-dangerous side effects. You are temporarily not allowed to drive with category II medicines. With category III you are usually not allowed to drive for a long time.
Both the pharmacist and the prescriber must warn you if a medication affects your ability to drive. On the website www.rijveiligmetmedicijnen.nl anyone can find out in which category a medicine falls and whether you are allowed to drive it. People with a disease or condition and/or users of medicines that affect driving ability must complete a Health Declaration in order to obtain or keep their driving licence. The CBR then assesses, based on available medical information, whether it is responsible to issue or renew a driving licence.