Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Driving Abilities Not Impaired By Moderate, Long-Term Pain Medication Use, Study Suggests

Date:
November 25, 2007
Source:
Rush University Medical Center
Summary:
Opioid pain relievers, such as morphine and other narcotics, carry warning labels urging patients not to drive or operate heavy machinery during use. In addition, drivers under the influence of pain medication are typically subjected to the same laws and penalties as drivers under the influence of alcohol. And yet, in a recent, preliminary study researchers found no difference in the "driving skills and reaction times" of patients taking morphine compared to non-medicated drivers.

Moderate, long-term pain medication use does not impair a person’s ability to drive safely, according to a study by Dr. Asokumar Buvanendran, associate professor, Department of Anesthesiology at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago.

Opioid pain relievers, such as morphine and other narcotics, carry warning labels urging patients not to drive or operate heavy machinery during use. In addition, drivers under the influence of pain medication are typically subjected to the same laws and penalties as drivers under the influence of alcohol. And yet, in a recent, preliminary study Buvanendran found no difference in the “driving skills and reaction times” of patients taking morphine compared to non-medicated drivers.

The study compared two groups of patients: 51 patients chronically receiving oral morphine and 49 patients (the control group) receiving no pain medication. Each study participant drove for approximately 12 minutes in a driving simulator that measured deviation from the center of the road, weaving, the number of accidents, and reaction time to surprise events. The amount of weaving was 3.83 feet for both sets of drivers, and the opioid group had 5.33 collisions compared to the non-opioid group with 5.04 (no statistical difference). Reaction time also was similar for both groups: 0.69 seconds for the controlled group and 0.67 for the opioid group.

The results suggest that patients who need, long-term pain medicine actually may “become tolerant” to the medication side effects that potentially impair function, Buvanendran said.

In the future, these patients may be able to live “like normal functioning people, without the stigma and limitations now associated with long-term pain medication use,” he said. Fewer restrictions also will allow patients to travel more easily and access treatments, ultimately improving their quality of life.

This research model will be used in future studies to assess the effects of other types of anesthetics and pain medication.

The study was presented at the American Society of Anesthesiologists meeting in San Francisco on October 13.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rush University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rush University Medical Center. "Driving Abilities Not Impaired By Moderate, Long-Term Pain Medication Use, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 November 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071123201438.htm>.
Rush University Medical Center. (2007, November 25). Driving Abilities Not Impaired By Moderate, Long-Term Pain Medication Use, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071123201438.htm
Rush University Medical Center. "Driving Abilities Not Impaired By Moderate, Long-Term Pain Medication Use, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071123201438.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A heart monitor the size of a paperclip that can save your life. The “Reveal Linq” allows a doctor to monitor patients with A-Fib on a continuous basis for up to 3 years! Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins