Drivers in the UK could now get a massive fine and a driving ban for taking certain types of hay fever tablets. Most drivers are not aware that the drug driving laws now apply to cover counter hay fever medication.
Summer time can be a misery for hay fever sufferers, especially with the increase of high pollen levels over the years.
Medication that is used to alleviate the effects of hay fever can interfere with your vision, hearing and reaction times.
Certain over-the-counter tablets are covered under the same drug-driving law as illegal drugs such as cocaine. Drivers could therefore land a criminal record and huge fines if you are in a car accident.
According to information on NHS.co.uk, antihistamine tablets contains chlorphenamine and diphenhydramine, which are more likely to cause drowsiness. Safer medication to take while deriving are loratadine or cetirizine as they are less likely to cause drowsiness.
Drug driving carries an unlimited fine, minimum one year driving ban and in some cases a prison sentence. Drivers should ask their doctor or pharmacist if certain medicine could affect your ability to drive. In addition to this, if you are used to reacting to medication, in particular becoming drowsy from it, then you should avoid driving all together.
A spokesperson for Brake road safety charity said: “It’s not just illegal drugs that make you unsafe to drive, many prescription and over-the-counter medications, such as those for colds, flu and hay fever, can have a negative effect on your ability to drive safely”
So if you’re a driver and suffer from hay fever, best thing to do is always check before you take any medication with a pharmacist or doctor.