Senior drivers taking opioid painkillers have higher crash risk

Seniors who get behind the wheel soon after starting to use narcotic pain relievers have twice the risk of getting into a serious car crash as their peers who use non-opioid painkillers, Swedish researchers say.

Senior drivers who’d been using opioid painkillers regularly for several months also had higher odds of getting into accidents, but not as high as the new users did, according to Joel Monarrez-Espino of Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and colleagues.