Can I Drive Home After Chemotherapy?

It's a decision best made with your personal doctor.

Man's hands on steering wheel
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"I am going to begin chemotherapy next week and do not have anyone to drive me there or back. Do I need someone to drive me home from chemotherapy, or will I be able to drive myself?"

Driving Home After Chemotherapy

While maintaining independence as you go through chemotherapy (which may include driving yourself to and from appointments and treatment sessions) is an understandable goal, it's important that you are safe.

So in the case of driving after chemotherapy, it's really a decision you need to discuss with your own doctor. What your doctor decides will likely depend on the type of chemotherapy you are undergoing, your current level of functioning, and/or any other medical conditions you have.

Do not be surprised if your doctor asks you to get a ride home after the first chemotherapy session, to see how you tolerate it—like a trial run. If you feel well, he or she may feel comfortable letting you drive home for future sessions. That being said, if your doctor says it's OK to drive, but you feel unsafe or uncomfortable, of course, don't drive.

The reason why your doctor may not advise you to drive home has to do with the side effects of chemotherapy. Most notably, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting (common side effects of chemo) may affect not only your desire to drive but your concentration and alertness, too.

Vision changes—such as blurred or double vision—can also accompany chemotherapy. This side effect is less common than fatigue and stomach upset, but it will certainly affect your ability to safely drive.

In addition, if you are taking any pain medications, please remember that it is recommended that you not drive while taking them.

They can cause drowsiness, which can decrease your response time and even cause you to fall asleep at the wheel. It isn't worth the chance of hurting yourself or others.

Another Transportation Option

If you find you cannot drive yourself to and from chemotherapy sessions, you may want to consider taking a taxi, public transportation, or asking a friend to drive you. If none of those options work for you, contact your local American Cancer Society chapter who may be able to refer you to patient transportation services. The American Cancer Society has a special volunteer program that can provide rides for people with cancer going to and from treatments.

A Word From Verywell

Talking to your doctor is the best course of action for determining if you are fit to drive after chemotherapy. He or she is knowledgeable about the side effects of your specific chemotherapy regimen and how these treatments may affect your driving.

Source:

American Cancer Society. Road to Recovery.

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