Drugs, Driving and Traffic Safety

pp 121-134

Prescribing and dispensing guidelines for medicinal drugs affecting driving performance

  • Johan J. de GierAffiliated withUniversity of Groningen, Department of Pharmacotherapy and Pharmaceutical Care
  • , F. Javier AlvarezAffiliated withPharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Valladolid
  • , Charles Mercier-GuyonAffiliated withCERMT (Centre d’Études et de Recherches en Médecine du Traffic)
  • , Alain G. VerstraeteAffiliated withDepartment of Clinical Chemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, Ghent University, Belgium, Laboratory of Clinical Biology — Toxicology, Ghent University Hospital

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This chapter aims to provide practice-oriented information for prescribing physicians and dispensing pharmacists who want to provide their patients with adequate advice based on a clear understanding of the risks of accident involvement under different treatment conditions. Specific attention will be given to the application of a graded-level warning system based on categorization systems for psychotropic medicines that have been introduced,, and sometimes legally implemented, in several European countries. This warning system allows physicians and pharmacists to select the least impairing medicines within a therapeutic class. Advice for the patient based on three categories has been described in clear instructions, allowing the patient to make the right decision.

For the most frequently used drug classes (antihistamines, antidepressants, hypnotics and tranquillizers) information will be provided on drugs with little or no impairment within the respective classes, and risk factors (e.g. liver and./or renal dysfunction, drug-drug interactions) that might increase impairing effects. If drugs with little or no impairment can not be prescribed, specific patient information will focus on recognizing signs of impaired performance.