30 percent of fatal opioid overdoses involved both types of medications, but number of individuals prescribed both has spiked oxycodone hcl
Mixing opioid painkillers with common anxiety and sleep medications is a prescription for a lethal overdose, a new You. S. study shows.
Of all fatal overdoses from narcotic medications, nearly 30 percent also involved benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, Klonopin and Valium, the researchers said.
“It’s not news that this combination is not a good one, but despite being well known, it’s increased over time, and more people are finding yourself in the hospital because of it, inch said lead examiner Doctor. Eric Sun. “Patients and doctors really need to think hard about this combination. inch
When patients take benzodiazepines along with narcotic painkillers such as Oxycontin, Percocet and Vicodin, the mix reduces the limit for an overdose, said Sun. He is an admin mentor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine at Stanford University.
Although this study cannot prove that combining these drugs caused overdoses, the data is strong that this can be dangerous.
In fact, guidelines from the You. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the You. S. Food and Drug Administration warn doctors of the risks of prescribing narcotic painkillers and benzodiazepines. The principles also advise them to tell their patients of the potential for a narcotic overdose.
In the study, Sun and his fellow workers collected data on more than 300, 000 privately insured patients, aged 16 to sixty four, who have been prescribed a narcotic painkiller between 2001 and 2013.
In 2001, 9 percent of those patients also had prescription medications for benzodiazepines. By 2013, that had increased to teen percent — an 80 percent relative increase, the study findings showed.
Over the years, prescription medications for both narcotic painkillers and benzodiazepines have increased, so it will be not surprising that the number of patients taking both medications is up along with the number of overdoses, Sun said.
“Physicians should think carefully if they find themselves prescribing both drugs for a patient, inch Sun added.
It’s also possible that some patients are getting prescription medications from different doctors who don’t know all the medications the person is taking, he noted.