Transport Department - Common Medicinal Drugs That May Impair Driving Ability

Common Medicinal Drugs That May Impair Driving Ability

Some examples of the drug categories which  may have side effects on driving ability are listed below.  The side effects are dose dependent and vary among individuals.

Major
treatment uses

Medicinal drug categories*
(Examples only)

Possible effects on driving ability

  • Relief of allergic symptoms (e.g. rash)
  • Relief of cold symptoms (e.g. runny nose)

First Generation Antihistamines:

  • Chlorpheniramine
  • Diphenhydramine
  • Promethazine

Drowsiness
Blurred vision

  • Pain relief

Opioid Analgesics:

  • Dihydrocodeine 
  • Fentanyl
  • Methadone
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone
  • Tramadol
  • Codeine

Drowsiness
Impairment of concentration and judgment

  • Coughing

Codeine
Dextromethorphan
Pholcodine

Drowsiness
Blurred vision

  • Swelling of prostate

Doxazosin
Prazosin
Terazosin

Dizziness

  • Inability to sleep

Zopiclone
Zolpidem

Drowsiness
Impairment of concentration and judgment

  • Anxiety

Benzodiazepines:

  • Alprazolam
  • Diazepam
  • Lorazepam
  • Midazolam

Drowsiness
Impairment of concentration and judgment  

  • Depression

Tricyclic Antidepressants:

  • Amitriptyline
  • Nortriptyline
  • Mirtazapine
  • Trazodone

Drowsiness
Blurred vision
Impairment of concentration and judgment

  • Mental illness

Chlorpromazine
Haloperidol
Olanzapine
Quetiapine
Risperidone

Drowsiness
Difficulty in muscle coordination
Impairment of concentration and judgment

  • Seizures

Carbamazepine
Gabapentin
Lamotrigine
Phenytoin
Pregabalin
Sodium Valproate

Drowsiness
Dizziness

  • Parkinson’s disease

Levodopa + Carbidopa
Bromocriptine

Dizziness
Blurred Vision
Impairment of concentration and judgment

  • Motion sickness

Dimenhydrinate
Hyoscine

Drowsiness
Blurred Vision

  • Diagnosis or treatment of eye conditions

Topical eye preparations:

  • Atropine 
  • Pilocarpine

Blurred Vision

* Some drugs for the treatment of hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes may cause postural hypotension or hypoglycaemia if excessive dosages are taken or during medication changes.  Consult healthcare professionals if in doubt.

Note:

The examples of drug categories and the information relating to them (collectively called “Drug Information”) are provided by the Drug Education Resources Centre under the advice of the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Hong Kong.  The examples of drug categories are commonly known to have side effects that may impair a person’s ability to drive properly. The examples of drug categories are not intended to be exhaustive and is intended for reference only.  The Drug Information or any part thereof is not a substitute for advice, general or specific, by healthcare professionals. You are advised to verify the Drug Information and obtain independent advice from healthcare professionals before acting on any of the Drug Information.

The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (“Government”), its officers, agents and advisors give no warranties, representations and statements, express or implied, of any kind with respect to the Drug Information and disclaim any and all liabilities and responsibilities as to, or in relation to the adequacy, accuracy or completeness of the Drug Information. Any liability for any omission of any “non-specified drugs” as defined in section 39L(1) of the Road Traffic Ordinance (Cap. 374) from the examples of drug categories or any misstatement about the drugs listed as “non-specified drugs” is expressly disclaimed by the Government, its officers and advisors. The Government shall not in any circumstances or in any way be liable to any person (including any individual, body corporate or unincorporate) for any and all losses, damages and costs whether direct or indirect, special or consequential arising out of or in connection with the use of or reliance upon any of the Drug Information.

Drug Drinking Never Risk It

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