Driving mobility is important for daily life functioning affecting physical, social, and economic well-being. Albeit causal relationships can hardly be drawn from epidemiological data, there is considerable evidence that the use of psychoactive drugs is associated with an increased risk of traffic injuries, with benzodiazepines and cyclic antidepressants being of major concern within psychopharmacological medicines. Experimental data has been analyzed in detail in various reviews, with particularly sedating CNS effects in the acute phase of treatment being of major concern. Detrimental effects of psychopharmacologic medicines can vary widely depending on different pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, on dosages and dosing regimens, and on duration of treatment. When validating treatment with respect to driving performance stabilizing effects of pharmacological treatment have to be weighed against possible detrimental cognitive, vegetative-somatic, and psychomotor effects within the treatment phase. Most patients benefit from treatment with psychotropic medicines over time with respect to driving performance, when given on clinical considerations, that is, adjustment of dosing regimen according to clinical response or e.g. nocturnal administration, especially in the case of sedating medications. Clinicians should be aware of possible detrimental effects of psychotropic medicines on driving performance and should patients individually counsel and advise to monitor for side effects.
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Brunnauer, A., Laux, G. (2021). Effects of Psychopharmacological Medicines upon Driving Ability. In: Riederer, P., Laux, G., Nagatsu, T., Le, W., Riederer, C. (eds) NeuroPsychopharmacotherapy. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-56015-1_267-1
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