When you prescribe medication for your patient, it is always
worth checking that s/he understands the possible effect this may
have on his/her ability to carry on doing certain types of work. It
is also worth looking at treatments which may help your patient to
manage the symptoms which may have a great impact on his/her
ability to function at work, such as assistance with
Typically the sort of tasks you may need to discuss changing due
to the effect of medication are related to driving, working with
machinery or working at heights where medication affects balance or
judgement for example. In addition, it is worth reminding employees
and employers that some medicines affect people’s ability to
concentrate and may make people feel sleepy or tired. The right
‘reasonable adjustments’ to working patterns, tasks and conditions
need to be developed taking the effect of medication into
Applicants of drivers licence holders must inform the
Driver Vehicle Licensing Authority
(DVLA) of any condition that may affect their ability to
The Driver Vehicle Licensing Authority
for medical professionals
This part of the DVLA website includes links to the latest
information on the medical standards of fitness to drive.
The DVLA requires applicants or drivers licence holders to
inform them of any condition that may affect a person’s ability to
drive safely. This links to
information on specific medical conditions which may affect
driving and to the section with information on what happens
after the DVLA is informed about a medical condition.
College of Psychiatrists – mental health
The mental health information section has lots of readable well
researched information about treatments for mental ill-health. The
information leaflets include explanations of how different
medicines work, how long they may take to have an effect, what
tasks the medicine may affect your ability to carry out.
Mental Health Foundation
This section on
medication for mental health problems includes a section called
‘Questions to ask’ to help patients when talking to their
doctor. You may find that these are useful prompts for both you and
Rethink has a summary of the possible effects that common types
of medicines can have. Rethink have also produced a report called
‘Side Effects’ which is available to download. This is
based on the ‘real-life’ experiences of mental health service
MIND has information on medical and alternative treatments. Each
booklet or factsheet contains information on side effects.
and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)
Taking medicines - some questions & answers about side
effects is a leaflet produced by the MHRA for the public.
Please note that we are unable to offer advice on individual cases. Please see our
advice on getting help.
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