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22nd Jun 2018

Motorists who take certain hay fever tablets risk face a large fine and a driving ban

Wil Jones

Summer is delightful, but it is also hell if you have hay fever

Everyone else is having fun in the park, but if you even open a window, your eyes go on fire, your whole face is itchy and your nose splashes out oceans of snot.

Which means you end up spending a fortune on various tablets and nasal sprays to get you through the day.

However, motorists in particular need to be careful. Several different hay fever medications, including chlorphenamine, hydroxyzine and promethazine, have side effects that can include drowsiness.

And driving under the influence of any drug is illegal if it impairs your ability to drive – regardless of if the drug itself is legal.

According to insurance site, “you shouldn’t take this sort of medication, or any other that says ‘may cause drowsiness’, if you’re planning on driving”.

The police have the power to pull you over and give you a’field impairment assessment’ to gauge if you are under the influence. And if you were convicted, you could face a twelve month driving ban, an unlimited fine, and even six months in prison. And with that, would come a criminal record.

According to, up to 58 per cent of drivers who suffer from hay fever admitted driving after taking antihistamines.

It should be obvious, but it always worth repeating: always follow the advice of your doctor when taking any medication, and always reading the information that comes with it.