During the holiday season, many people will spend more time behind the wheel as they head out of town. Before taking antihistamines and driving, it is important to know which medicines are safe to take when driving.
Claritin is non-sedating, so it relieves indoor and seasonal allergy symptoms without causing drowsiness. Consumers should be aware that some other allergy medications, such as Zyrtec, have drowsiness and fatigue as common side effects.
In fact, Zyrtec prescription labeling carries a caution about the occurrence of drowsiness and urges consumers to exercise caution when driving a car or operating dangerous machinery.
“Allergies can make people feel foggy, and if they choose an allergy medication that may cause drowsiness, they put themselves at risk for nodding off behind the wheel and potentially harming themselves or others,” says Marjorie Slankard, M.D., allergist and clinical professor of medicine at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.
“It’s important that people with allergies read the label of their medication so they understand the side effects they may experience – and choose a non-sedating medicine whenever they are going to be driving.”
As part of the national campaign, the NSF has developed a free drowsy driving prevention toolkit, downloadable at www.DrowsyDriving.org. The toolkit includes educational materials, fact sheets, presentations, and a “contract” through which young drivers can pledge to their parents that they will honor safe driving practices.
NSF also issued a “State of the States” report outlining educational, public awareness, law enforcement, and legislative activities related to drowsy driving for all 50 states. For more information, visit www.DrowsyDriving.org.