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Family Physician
Family Physician, Board Certified MRO
Category: Drug Testing
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Experience:  Medical Review Officer - Physician Trained and certified in drug test interpretation
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I live in the UK and for a time was taking some anti anxiety

Resolved Question:

I live in the UK and for a time was taking some anti anxiety pills. The police allege I was driving dangerously whilst under the influence of drugs.

I had a reading of 0.05 milligrams per litre of etizolam in my blood sample. Could someone qualified in this area please let me know whether this amount would have caused dangerous impairment.

Many thanks
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Drug Testing
Expert:  Family Physician replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question: Unfortunately, there is no published study linking specific levels for this drug and driving performance.

However, these two studies taken in combination would help give some information: Both looked at the effect of a single dose. The first looks at the levels, and the 2nd looks at pyschomotor performance.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1968715
Following a 1 mg dose, the average maximum concentration was 54.7 ng/ml (0.05 mg/L). Following a 2 mg dose, the average maximum contentration was 98.6 ng/ml (approximately 0.1 mg/L)

Your levels are not significantly higher than those seen with usual doses of this medication.

http://trid.trb.org/view.aspx?id=674117
In this study, 2 different doses 0.25 mg and 1 mg of this medication did not have any effect on pyschomotor performance. At both of these doses (including the 1 mg that gave peak levels 1/2 of that which you had), no effects on driving would be expected.

Overall - these two studies would seem to suggest that there may not be a significant effect on driving WHEN USED ALONE.

It should be remembered, that medications that influence driving performance are additive or worse. Combining this medication with other medications, alcohol or even common over-the-counter medications used to treat allergies etc could cause significantly more important effect on driving than either medication.

I hope this has bee helpful.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks very much, a great answer. May I leave this open a few days as my solicitor may ask some follow up questions. Many thanks

Expert:  Family Physician replied 2 years ago.
Absolutely....
Family Physician, Board Certified MRO
Category: Drug Testing
Satisfied Customers: 12816
Experience: Medical Review Officer - Physician Trained and certified in drug test interpretation
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