Z-drugs are car accident risks

Ambien, Sonata and Lunesta are included in this group

People treating their anxiety, insomnia and depression with prescription drugs are at a higher risk for car accidents on those medications, according to a study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. These psychotropic drugs, which are meant to change the way the patient’s brains function, impair the ability to control a car.

With the risk of accidents now proven through study, researchers suggest doctors warn their patients not to drive medicated. Earlier studies have focused on drugs like Valium. This time, z-drugs like Sonata, Ambien and Lunesta were studied. They’re called z-drugs since z begins the compounds of some of the psychotropic drugs in the study.

The experiment was conducted using two groups from the Taiwanese national health insurance program. Group one consisted of 5,183 people involved in car accidents. Group two were the 31,093 people who had no record of any motor vehicle accident involvement. Researchers also accounted for gender, age and year of vehicle accidents.

Basically, those who had been in an accident were taking psychotropic drugs prescribed by the doctor. The health records verified how long the patient was taking the drug. Whether the prescription showed it was a day or a year on the medication, they were likely to be involved in an accident. The larger the dosage of the prescription, the higher the risk of a car accident.

For the patients currently using the drugs studied, researchers suggest paying the highest amount of attention to driving possible. In no way did the research suggest the patients should stop taking their doctor prescribed medication. The results do suggest that patients should have a conversation with their pharmacist and doctor about the risks and side effects of the drugs.

The findings are worthy noting for those considering this type of treatment for their insomnia, anxiety or depression. There might be a safer solution for those who rely on their vehicle for long commutes.