An increased risk of motor vehicle accidents after prescription of methadone
Article first published online: 11 FEB 2012
© 2011 The Authors, Addiction © 2011 Society for the Study of Addiction
Volume 107, Issue 5, pages 967–972, May 2012
How to Cite
Bramness, J. G., Skurtveit, S., Mørland, J. and Engeland, A. (2012), An increased risk of motor vehicle accidents after prescription of methadone. Addiction, 107: 967–972. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2011.03745.x
- Issue published online: 4 APR 2012
- Article first published online: 11 FEB 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 7 DEC 2011 08:53AM EST
- Submitted 22 December 2010; initial review completed 4 March 2011; final version accepted 29 November 2011
- motor vehicle accident;
Aims To investigate whether exposure to methadone affects the risk of motor vehicle accident with personal injury.
Design Cohort study linking three Norwegian administrative registries using unique person identifiers.
Setting Information was retrieved from the Norwegian Prescription Database on any prescriptions ever received by the individuals for methadone and all prescriptions for benzodiazepines. The Norwegian Road Accident Registry provided information about motor vehicle accidents involving personal injuries on Norwegian roads. The Central Population Registry provided demographic information on all residents in Norway.
Participants All Norwegian adults aged 18–69 years were observed for 2.5 years.
Measurements Standardized incidence ratio (SIR) was calculated by comparing the incidence of traffic accidents with personal injuries in patients exposed to methadone with the incidence in those not exposed.
Findings During the 4626 person-years observed in patients exposed to methadone, there were 26 motor vehicle accidents. There were very few accidents among the females who received methadone and they had no increased risk of being involved in motor vehicle accidents (SIR 1.1; 95% CI 0.2–3.1). We observed an increased risk of involvement in accidents among males (SIR 2.4; 95% CI 1.5–3.6). This figure did not change significantly when exposure to benzodiazepines was excluded.
Conclusions Men exposed to methadone appear to have an increased risk of being involved in motor vehicle accidents involving personal injuries. This increased risk could not be explained by exposure of benzodiazepines.