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Eur J Pain. 2005 Apr;9(2):141-4.

Opioid medication and driving ability.

Author information

1
Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Medical University of Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, A-1090 Vienna, Austria. b.anaesthesie@univie.ac.at

Abstract

In many European countries the use of opioids for long-term treatment of nonmalignant pain has dramatically increased during the last decade in order to improve the patient's quality of life, to allow an active social life and the return to work. In modern society, driving is regarded as an essential activity of daily living. Since opioids are centrally acting drugs that may interfere with the ability of safely driving a motor vehicle, the question arises of whether or not and on which conditions patients under continuous opioid medication may be considered fit to drive. In this article the evidence from recent studies of opioid effects on driving ability of patients is reviewed. Based on these data, the prerequisites and restrictions for driving under chronic opioid medication are outlined and practical guidelines are proposed.

PMID:
15737803
DOI:
10.1016/j.ejpain.2004.05.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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