Background: Medical doctors and pharmacists are aware of medicines’ side effects, particularly regarding uptakes being at the origin of driving accidents.
Case: Three occupational drivers took medicines disturbing their vigilance. They were incriminated as being at the genesis of an accident.
Conclusion: Pharmacists and occupational medical doctors engage their responsibilities about information, which should be understood by driving workers.
medicines, driving, occupational
Numerous medicines may perturb the vigilance of drivers. The impact of these effects could be a brake for employment. Medical doctors and pharmacists are directly concerned, since they are aware and able to inform disabled people about side effects of some medicines [1,2]. Three short examples of medicine use will enhance this topic regarding this difficult relationship between medicine and occupational driving.
Three occupational drivers, who were following a course of medical treatment for different pathologies (such as nervous-breakdown, asthma associated with chronic cough, and narcolepsy), were at the genesis of road accidents with physical injuries.
Medicines were suspected of being at the origin of these accidents. Were respectively involved: an antidepressant (amitriptyline), a cough medicine with codeine and a narcolepsy medicine (modafinil).
A warning notification including a possible episode of slumber was indicated on the packaging of those medicines, alongside with the leaflet. The problematic concerns the responsibility of the health workers involved in the delivery of the prescription and the medicine. The information duty of health workers towards patients and their understanding of it are key-determiners of this clinical case.
Five professional responsibilities should be regarded. The first one is the prescriber’s one, implying the regular doctor or the neurologist. He ought to insist on the necessity to prohibit driving any vehicle since vigilance disorders are, in this case, frequently observed .
The pharmacist (the second one’s responsibility) delivering the medicine also plays a determining part by the reminding of the usual precautions, which are notified on the packaging . He must be seen, alongside with the laboratory (the third one’s responsibility) in charge of the medicine’s production and marketing, as the legal reference regarding the formalization of the contraindications, which ought to be respected – in this specific case the ability of driving.
The occupational doctor (the fourth’s responsibility), as long as the patient informs him of the existence of a pathology for which he is treated, ought to advice the worker about avoiding an unnecessary risk during his occupational driving.
Patients-workers (the fifth one’s responsibility), when agreeing to the consideration of the information provided by health workers (implying regular doctors, neurologists, pharmacists and occupational doctors), are therefore able to avoid an unacceptable accident related to their medicine dose.
- Jomaa I, Odisho M, Cheung JM, Wong K, Ellis JG, et al. (2017) Pharmacists’ perceptions and communication of risk for alertness impairing medications. Res Social Adm Pharm. [Crossref]
- Duquet N (2013) Drugs and driving. J Pharm Belg 2: 4-11. [Crossref]
- Sigona N, Williams KG (2015) Driving under the influence, public policy, and pharmacy practice. J Pharm Pract 28: 119-23. [Crossref]
- Lemaire-Hurtel AS, Goullé JP, Alvarez JC, Mura P, Verstraete AG (2015) Drug use and driving. Presse Med 44: 1055-63. [Crossref]