All medications that are on the market today have gone through a rigorous testing and approval process and are generally considered to be safe for use as long as they are prescribed by a doctor and used as intended. However, not all medications are safe for all people, as certain medications are associated with an increased risk of car accidents. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the pharmaceuticals currently on the market that have the highest risk of injuring their users.
Opioids are a class of drugs that are prescribed most often as pain relievers and include oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl, Vicodin, and others. These types of drugs can be very beneficial when used on a short-term basis to treat severe pain, but they are also highly addictive and can lead to dependence and abuse very easily. Even more serious, prescription opioid abuse can often lead the patient to seek stronger drugs like heroin when the “high” they received from the prescription opioids is not enough for them anymore. We are currently experiencing an alarming opioid epidemic in the United States, as the number of deaths from opioid abuse has quadrupled since 1999, leading to the deaths of an average of 91 people per day in 2015. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends reducing the number of addictive opioids that are prescribed in favor of lower-risk pain relievers as well as promoting the use of state prescription drug monitoring programs.
Ambien is a sedative that is commonly prescribed to treat insomnia. It is an immediate-release tablet that helps the patient fall asleep when he or she first goes to bed. Ambien CR is an extended-release version that contains a second dissolvable layer to help the patient stay asleep through the night. Although most patients who are prescribed Ambien obtain a positive outcome from the medication, one of its major side effects is that it can cause users to engage in activities like driving, eating, making phone calls, and engaging in sexual activity while they are asleep, which the user often has no memory of doing once they wake up. While these behaviors are not necessarily always dangerous, there have been certain incidents involving Ambien users who commit murder, get into car accidents, and use it as a date-rape drug. It is recommended that patients who are prescribed Ambien avoid alcohol when using it and monitor their behavior carefully for the first several weeks of use. It the patient engages in activities that they have no memory of when they wake up, they should stop taking it.