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Drugs and Driving

Many of the drugs used in pain management can affect reaction time and coordination.

For instance, the British Pain Society has made a statement regarding opioids: "Patients taking appropriate doses of prescribed opioids are permitted by law to drive in the UK if they are using no more than the prescribed dose and feel fit to drive. Patients should be advised to avoid driving at the start of opioid therapy and following dose changes. Patients should be informed that it is their responsibility to advise the DVLA that they are taking opioid medication."

For more detailed information on driving and drugs, you should get leaflet D100 - 'What you need to know about driving licences.'. It should be available at most Post Offices, and we have enclosed a link to download it here.  You will need to quote your driver number when you write or telephone the DVLC. 

It is recommended that you should also inform your insurance company of any drugs you are taking, as it may affect a your premium or any claims you make.

The MHRA have (2014) released an information leaflet on driving while on certain medications which is linked here.  Further information on this is linked here.

 For, in particular, professionals who wish to see the full guidance document on which the advice is based, this is linked here.










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Pain Service Website, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Webmaster Dr J G de Courcy, Consultant in Pain Medicine and Anaesthesia
email: pain.webmaster[at]

Page updated 19/02/2016