Objectives: Driving under the influence of prescription and over-the-counter medication is a growing public health concern. A systematic review of the literature was performed to investigate which specific medications were associated with increased risk of motor vehicle collision (MVC).
Methods: The a priori inclusion criteria were: (1) studies published from English-language sources on or after January 1, 1960, (2) licensed drivers 15 years of age and older, (3) peer-reviewed publications, master's theses, doctoral dissertations, and conference papers, (4) studies limited to randomized control trials, cohort studies, case-control studies, or case-control type studies (5) outcome measure reported for at least one specific medication, (6) outcome measure reported as the odds or risk of a motor vehicle collision. Fourteen databases were examined along with hand-searching. Independent, dual selection of studies and data abstraction was performed.
Results: Fifty-three medications were investigated by 27 studies included in the review. Fifteen (28.3%) were associated with an increased risk of MVC. These included Buprenorphine, Codeine, Dihydrocodeine, Methadone, Tramadol, Levocitirizine, Diazepam, Flunitrazepam, Flurazepam, Lorazepam, Temazepam, Triazolam, Carisoprodol, Zolpidem, and Zopiclone.
Conclusions: Several medications were associated with an increased risk of MVC and decreased driving ability. The associations between specific medication use and the increased risk of MVC and/or affected driving ability are complex. Future research opportunities are plentiful and worthy of such investigation.
Keywords: Ability; Driving; Drugs; Prescription; Review.
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