A common question that people have when taking mental health medication is whether or not they can drive at the same time.

The answer may differ depending on the medication. As a general rule, yes a person can drive while taking mental health medication, but there are important considerations.

There are also some conditions which require you to disclose information to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

Please note that the information in this article does not constitute legal advice and may be outdated at any time. If you have any questions you should speak to your GP or mental health professional.

Driving is a common worry for many people taking mental health medication

Can you drive if you are taking mental health medicines?

If you are taking a mental health medicine like antidepressants, antipsychotics or mood stabilisers, generally, you can drive.

Most people find that these medicines have little effect on their ability to drive.

It is strongly recommended that you do not drive or exert extreme caution when you first take psychiatric medicine. This is because you don’t know how you will respond.

While in most cases you will be absolutely fine, there is always a chance that you won’t. Therefore, it is best to be careful at first.

Controlled medicines

Controlled medicines are medicines that are given a special category because of the potential for them to be abused.

There are a few different controlled medicines that exist. These include sedatives, anxiolytics, benzodiazepines and sleeping pills.

With such drugs, it is very important to follow the guidelines set out by your GP. With many controlled medicines, it is unlikely that you will be allowed to drive. Your GP will outline this.

If you drive and are above the limit of these medicines in your blood, you risk arrest and prosecution.

Remember, if you have taken any recreational drug, you should not drive. Doing so would put yourself and everyone else on the road at risk.

Telling the DVLA about mental health conditions

If you have certain mental health conditions, you will need to tell the DVLA. You must tell the DVLA if you have any of the following mental health conditions – and are driving:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Schizoaffective Disorder
  • Psychosis
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Psychotic Depression

If you have any other mental health condition that affects your ability to drive safely, you also need to make the DVLA aware. Things that could affect your ability to drive include poor concentration or suicidal ideation.

For more information on DVLA requirements and to see if your health condition affects your driving, you can view the Gov.uk’s guide here.

You should also inform your insurance company about any mental health condition that you have.

If you have any queries about this, you should speak to your GP or a mental health professional. Remember, this article does not constitute legal advice.


If you are ever in doubt about driving while taking mental health medicine, you should discuss this with your doctor or a pharmacist.

They will be able to provide information on the medicine you are taking. Most importantly, you should always exert caution when using medicine and driving.

See Also



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