Am I allowed to drive whilst using Butrans pain patches

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Is there anyone out there please who can advise me on being able to continue driving whilst on Butrans pain patches for my arthritis and if so what size patches as I am so very worried that I will have to give up driving and that would totally finish me... I can deal with the pain but to lose my independence would be worse as I have no one else to get me about.  Thank you  ... Anya advice will be greatly received.

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  • Posted

    Hi dancingbabe.

    Terrible situation to be in.

    I may be able to ease your worries.

    I take methadone to help me come off Oxycontin which ive now been on for a year.

    I was advised to inform the DVLA as if I was to get pulled up & hadn't told the DVLA I could be in serious trouble. Very heavy fine & get my licence revoked. Apparently any opiate based medication for pain etc that you take, it's now the law that you inform DVLA. It should even say on the info leaflet you get with your medication.

    I informed them, they wrote to my GP & I was told i was fine.!! 👍

    The DVLA then wrote back asking how bad my depression was I suffered from. (My GP must have told them after filling forms in for methadone) They wrote back again saying I was fine!!👍

    I was then diagnosed with Severe mixed sleep apnoea where I stop breathing for an average of 80x per hour. After I informed the DVLA as it's the law depending on severity of the the sleep apnoea, they asked me to fill yet more forms & also sent some to my sleep consultant.

    They then wrote back & said my licence was being revoked. 👎

    I think after everything they must've said that this blokes a bloody nightmare, take his licence away before he dies at the wheel & runs some poor bigger over!!! 🤣🤣🤣

    Sorry I've waffled on. Basically I think you will be fine, bearing in mind when I told them I was taking methadone they said I was ok to still drive but I think that, on top of the sleep apnoea, they thought better suspend till better??

    My apnoea is now under control so I can get my licence back.

    It's up to you (as I bet 95%ish wouldn't & don't!!!) but legally, you should inform the DVLA. They will write to you & your GP asking you both to fill the forms in & then they will let you know.

    I hope that's a little clearer & eases your worries after giving you chapter & verse!!! Sorry!!!!

    Good luck, I'm sure you'll be fine!


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    • Posted

      Thanks Richie for replying and letting me know your story... it is very helpful and surprisingly I managed to get an appointment at my doctors today and he told me not to worry as i should be fine and he didnt think I would have any problems.... could i ask though, whilst all the letters were to ing and fro ing between you and the DVLA, were you still driving?  Also how long did the communications go on for.... did they answer you quickly>

      Im sorry to hear your problems but I really do hope that you get your licence back as soon as possible.

      Thanks Again,,,, Pam

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    • Posted

      You're very welcome Pam.

      It went on for around 8 months or so I would say & during that time I was still driving. It took ages as they were always waiting for my GP to reply to them.

      When they sent me forms to fill out it was to ask questions about the medication I was on & how I felt etc. The letters to the GP were similar forms asking him to fill in & send back.

      That's good news what your GP said, if that's the case then I would forget all about it Pam, get on with your life & forget all about it & not worry.

      Can I ask you something please - how do you find the patch works for your back pain?

      I have degenerative disc disease in my lower back & I only have to walk so far before all my muscles lock up & I can't move, it's like cramp all across the bottom of my back. The patch you're on they looked at putting me on but I can't while I'm taking methadone or it will bring on withdrawals.



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    • Posted

      HI again Richie,   The patches are brilliant for me as I also suffer from diverticulitis so not having to swallow pills is brilliant and the patches work really well.   I would give them a try once you are off the methadone.... if you want any more info please do get in touch....

      Off to bed now as had a long day.  take care

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    • Posted

      Thanks for that Pam.

      Glad they give you the relief you need.

      Again if your GP has said don't worry about the driving I would go with what they said to be honest & just forget all about it.

      Take care


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  • Posted

    I dont know what country you live in and you should check with local law enforcement but, once you take your medicine, see how it effects you, it is illegal to drive impaired, but if you use the lowest dose possible and it doesn't really make you high (meaning you can function normally and doesnt effect your reaction time) it may be okay, be wary if it makes you drowsy could see if, as it wears off, if THEN you could drive....a charge of impaired worries me less, than if you were to have an accident and hurt or kill yourself or someone else...even with a prescription, with narcotic pain meds in your system you would NEVER BE THE SAME and they would charge you....I take sustained release morphine for chronic pain, but have taken it so long, I can function normally & drive, but if it effected me like oxycodone (making you buzzed) I would never have driven like that, with any narcotic you want to start with lowest dose and see how it works and how it effects you, as you will gradually build a tolerance and eventually dependence (meaning you will have a physical addiction) I wish I could be more helpful...Best Wishes to you....If you have more questions I am happy to help 💕

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  • Posted

    As with any new medication you should see how it effects you before driving or using any 'heavy machinery' that could put your life or the lives of others' at risk. 

    I take morphine each day (at what they call a 'high dose'wink and drive just fine. Although there are some days I should not be driving (but I am not sure it is related to my medication). 

    YOU know yourself better than anyone. If it impacts you and you don't feel you can drive—don't. I personally would find it harder to drive with constant pain. It too is a distraction from the road and safety. 

    Best of luck.

    P.S. I am in Canada and have never heard of any laws needing to report what drugs you take. However, if you are swerving and seem inebriated the police can pull you over and I believe order whatever test they choose. So be carful and know yourself. 

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