Sunday, July 31, 2016

New Study Highlights Risks of Combining Benzodiazepines and Opioids

Although prescribing benzodiazepines concurrently with opioid analgesics has been shown to raise the risk for fatal overdose, new research documents a risk that is four times that of opioids taken alone, and even at low doses. The new study was published online in the British Medical Journal (2015;350:h2698).

Additionally, the authors found a dose-dependent association with overdose risk. This may “help prioritize how we address this risk,” said Roger Chou, MD, professor in the Departments of Medicine and Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) School of Medicine, and a staff physician in the Internal Medicine Clinic at OHSU, in Portland, who was not involved in the research. “Meaning, you can start by identifying patients on high doses of benzos, and go from there.”


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