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Does Suboxone Impair Driving?

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Patients who have just started taking Suboxone are not advised to drive. Since Suboxone can make patients feel drowsy at first, avoid driving until you get used to the medication. This will usually take a few days.

Once a patient is on a stable dose, they should be able to drive safely without feeling sedated.

Suboxone & Your Driving 

Suboxone is a central nervous system depressant, and it can slow your reflexes and reaction times. This impact is most pronounced in people who have never taken the drug before.

In studies, researchers found that people experimenting with drugs like Suboxone had an impaired ability to drive. But people who had used the drug before at appropriate doses didn't have the same problem.[1]

In all states, you can legally drive while using a medication like Suboxone so long as you have a valid prescription for this medication.[2]

Your doctor should tell you when it’s safe for you to start driving once you start the medication. 

When to Talk to Your Doctor

If you feel dizzy or sedated on Suboxone, avoid driving and talk to your doctor about adjusting your dose.

Sometimes, people need a slightly smaller dose of Suboxone to keep cravings at bay without feeling sick or altered. Your doctor can help you find the dose that's right for you.

Sources

  1. Can Patients Receiving Opioid Maintenance Therapy Safely Drive? A Systematic Review of Epidemiological and Experimental Studies on Driving Ability with a Focus on Concomitant Methadone or Buprenorphine Administration. Traffic Injury Prevention. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23259516/. 2013. Accessed August 2022.
  2. Substance Use Disorder/Prescription Medications. Maine.gov. https://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/licenses/SUBSTANCE%20USE%20DISORDER.pdf. Accessed August 2022.

Medically Reviewed By Elena Hill, MD, MPH

Elena Hill, MD; MPH received her MD and Masters of Public Health degrees at Tufts Medical School and completed her family medicine residency at Boston Medical Center. She is currently an attending physician at Bronxcare Health Systems in the Bronx, NY where she works as a primary care physician as well as part time in pain management and integrated health. Her clinical interests include underserved health care, chronic pain and integrated/alternative health.

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