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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness
Work and mental health

The effect of medication on your work

Making sure your medication doesn't interfere with your ability to do your job safely

Some medications for mental health conditions can affect your balance and concentration, or make you sleepy or tired.  This can interfere with your ability to do certain sorts of work and tasks.  You should discuss this carefully with your GP or psychiatrist. 

These tasks include:

  • driving
  • working with machinery
  • working at heights.

Applicants of drivers licence holders must inform the Driver Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) of any condition that may affect their ability to drive safely. 

Links to resources:

The Driver Vehicle Licensing Authority (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.

Royal Collegeof Psychiatrists – mental health information for all
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 you when talking to your doctor.


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 users. 


MIND has information on medical and alternative treatments. Each booklet or factsheet contains information on side effects. 

Medicines 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 FAQ for advice on getting help.

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