Take a period painkiller? You might fail the new drug-drive test 5 years ago

Take a period painkiller? You might fail the new drug-drive test

Taking popular over-the-counter pills to alleviate period pain could land women in hot water at a Garda drug-drive checkpoint, according to GPs.

At the launch of the new provisions last month, the Medical Bureau for Road Safety revealed that out of the 3,020 specimens of blood and urine it received in 2016, 24 per cent confirmed positive for drugs other than alcohol.


Cannabis was the most prevalent drug detected, followed by opiates and benzodiazepines.

Because codeine, found in Nurofen Plus Solpadeine and Feminax, is an opiate, the new legislation means taking them, even in the amounts specified, could lead to a failed roadside saliva test. After that an impairment test (to assess balance and pupil dilation) is carried out.

However, doctors have pointed out that many people take prescribed medicinces for many years for chronic pain and do not feel impaired at all.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Dr Mark Murphy, chair of communications for the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP), said: "Care must be taken to ensure people are not incorrectly deemed to be unfit to drive, particularly older members of society."


"Our concern is over opiates and benzodiazepines which are two groups of drugs that will result in a positive test result,"

"About 4pc of the population are on long-term use of opiates such as Solpadeine for chronic pain and they can tolerate it and do not feel it impairs them," Dr Murphy said.

Our advice? Don't risk it if you plan on driving. There are now 86 drug screening devices located in Garda stations nationally and 50 more are available for use at the roadside.