Nearly one out of five Americans takes at least one psychotropic drug, a class of drugs that includes those that act on the brain to treat depression, anxiety, or insomnia. Because these drugs directly affect the way the brain functions, researchers at the National Health Research Institutes in Taiwan wondered if there is a link between psychotropic drugs and car accidents. The results of their study were published on September 13, 2012, in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.
Former studies have found a link between car accidents and antianxiety medications such as Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, and Avatan. This new study focused on drugs used to treat insomnia (Sonata, Ambien, Imovane, and Lunesta), antidepressants (Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft), and antipsychotics (including Abilify and other drugs used to treat ADHD).
The researchers looked at the medical records of 36,276 patients. The patients were divided into two groups, those who had been involved in motor vehicle accidents and those who had not. In general, the patients who had been involved in auto accidents were more likely to have been taking a psychotropic drug, particularly insomnia medications and antidepressants. The greater the dose, the higher were the risks of accidents. Antipsychotics were not associated with an increased accident risks, even among those taking larger doses.
If you are taking a psychotropic drug, do continue taking your medication, but also ask your doctor whether you should continue driving. If your doctor believes that your medication could increase your risk of causing a Boca Raton car accident, you may want to discuss other options.
Boca Raton accident attorney David Glatthorn represents victims of drugged-driving accidents in Palm Beach County and throughout Florida. To learn more about Florida accident injury claims, contact David Glatthorn at 866.413.5525 or request a free copy of his book, The Florida Accident Workbook: Tools, Tips & Tactics to Resolve Your Injury Claim.