Skip to main content

Building

A better future

through education, skill development and research

LEARN MORE

Study Examines Effects of Different Opioids on Driving Performance

Taking opioids for the treatment of pain has been associated with increased risks of crashing among drivers, but it is unknown whether this applies to all opioids or pertains to specific opioids only. A new British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology study found that the influence of single analgesic doses of methadone and buprenorphine—two different opioids—on driving performance was mild and below the impairment threshold of a blood alcohol concentration of 0.5 mg ml-1.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 12:01 am EST
"For the first time an actual on-road driving study has been performed to investigate the acute effects of opioids in drug-naïve persons on driving. The results tell us that caution is required when initiating treatment with these drugs"

Taking opioids for the treatment of pain has been associated with increased risks of crashing among drivers, but it is unknown whether this applies to all opioids or pertains to specific opioids only. A new British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology study found that the influence of single analgesic doses of methadone and buprenorphine—two different opioids—on driving performance was mild and below the impairment threshold of a blood alcohol concentration of 0.5 mg ml-1.

Both opioids produced impairments of cognitive task performance and increased sleepiness at the highest dose, however. Four out of the 22 participants in the study stopped their on-road driving test while under the influence of either opioid due to sleepiness.

The findings indicate that it is impossible to state that use of buprenorphine and methadone will not impair driving in any patient. Consequently, patients should always be informed about the potential driving impairment that might be caused by buprenorphine and methadone.

”For the first time an actual on-road driving study has been performed to investigate the acute effects of opioids in drug-naïve persons on driving. The results tell us that caution is required when initiating treatment with these drugs,“ said lead author Dr. Maren Cecilie Strand, of Oslo University Hospital, in Norway.

Additional Information:

Link to Study: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/bcp.13818


About Journal

Published on behalf of the British Pharmacological Society, the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology contains papers and reports on all aspects of drug action in humans: review articles, mini review articles, original papers, commentaries, editorials and letters. The Journal enjoys a wide readership, bridging the gap between the medical profession, clinical research and the pharmaceutical industry. It also publishes research on new methods, new drugs and new approaches to treatment.

About Wiley

Wiley is a global leader in research and education. Our online scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, and our digital learning, assessment, certification and student-lifecycle services and solutions help universities, academic societies, businesses, governments and individuals to achieve their academic and professional goals. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to our stakeholders. The Company's website can be accessed at www.wiley.com.

Multimedia Files:

Preview image
Photo credit: Dr H Gjerde
Preview image

Contact:

Penny Smith
+44 (0) 1243 770448
newsroom@wiley.com

Business Wire NewsHQsm