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Don’t Drive Under the Influence of Anti-Depressants

March 16th, 2009

A study made by researchers from the University of South Dakota concludes that people who suffer from depression and are taking antidepressants are not so good behind the wheels compared to those not taking medication.

The research involves around 60 individuals and a series of measures to test their driving skills. There were individuals who were taking medications but were not depressed and there was a group that was depressed and takes antidepressants. They concluded that the antidepressant doesn’t go well with driving a car.

The result is alarming because of the increased intake of antidepressant drugs such as Prozac by Americans. Recent statistics showed that the consumption of antidepressants in the U.S. has tripled in the last ten years. To look at the figures and grasp the idea, 1 of every 10 women in the US is taking antidepressants.

Health experts remind everyone that those taking antidepressants must be aware of the different effects of the drugs. They will have significant effects on one’s work, studies, or social life. Driving skills are also affected when under the influence of antidepressants.

The University of Dakota researches asked subjects to go through a series of test simulating real life driving. This included stopping on traffic signs, reacting to obstacles like pylons, pedestrians, or animals, and other challenges while steering the vehicle.

Thirty one of the participants were drugs for depression and the other 29 did not take any medications aside from some cases of oral contraceptives.

The level of depression for each individual was also measured.

The study concluded that those who were taking antidepressants and diagnosed depressed had the worse driving skills compared to the other groups. Those taking the drugs but are not depressed performed at par with the non-medicated group. It’s important to develop the right attitude in fighting your depression, in combination with medication. Not driving when under these meds will allow you to enjoy your depression-free life!

Depression, Medication, Research

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