FRA expands post-crash testing for certain pain, allergy meds

March 13, 2013

Washington – Post-crash testing of railroad workers for certain non-controlled drugs that may cause drowsiness and dizziness will begin May 6, the Federal Railroad Administration recently announced (.pdf file). FRA already tests railroad workers for alcohol and controlled substances such as marijuana and amphetamines.

The agency will first begin testing for tramadol – a type of non-narcotic pain reliever – and non-prescription antihistamines with sedating ingredients, such as Benadryl. Test results will be kept confidential while FRA continues to research whether these drugs’ side effects significantly affect rail safety.

FRA is accepting petitions for reconsideration until May 6, and comments on any received petitions are due June 18.