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Can you drive home after using anesthesia?

You go in for a medical procedure, and they give you anesthesia to help you deal with the pain. After it's all over, you want to head home, but is it safe to do so? Can you just get behind the wheel, or do you need to wait before you drive?

Typically, you should avoid driving for one or two days (remember to count it as 24 to 48 hours, starting whenever they release you) to make sure that you're safe. Anesthesia can have a drastic impact on your physical and mental abilities, which is why many medical experts say you shouldn't use knives, cook food, operate heavy machinery or do a lot of other potentially dangerous tasks. It's best to take it easy and relax on the couch, reading a book or watching TV.

Now, you should not assume that you can drive just because 24 hours have gone by. Did your doctor give you painkillers to use at home? Read that label very carefully. Depending on the strength of the medication, you may not be able to drive as long as you're using it. If you need to take it for a week after the procedure, for instance, arrange to have someone else drive you around. This goes for more than just painkillers. Be careful with things like muscle relaxants, sedatives and more.

Even if you stay safe and refrain from driving, that does not mean everyone else will. When another driver causes an accident while under the influence of drugs, even when those drugs are fully legal, you have to know if you have a right to financial compensation.

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