The FDA has issued serious warning labels for opioids and benzodiazepines regarding their combined use which has been termed lethal.
The FDA undertook a detailed survey of the latest scientific data and came up with some changes with regard to drug labels. The goal was to inform patients and health care providers about the dangers associated with the combined usage of certain opioids and benzodiazepines.
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The former are analgesics while the latter are a series of CNS depressants. The FDA has even thought of including boxed warnings for this purpose. They are normally reserved for the most hazardous of drugs.
Also patient-centric focused medication guides are being printed for both opioids and benzodiazepines. These two drugs add up to a total of 400 different prescription brand names.
It is when they are used in combination that the real risks come to the fore. Among the hazards are: a high degree of narcolepsy, breathing problems, a lapse into a comatose state and death.
The actions being taken by the FDA are a part of its Opioids Action Plan. This includes some pretty effective policies aimed at reducing opioid abuse.
However, the patients who face chronic pain symptoms may still gain access to suitable medications that are not as dangerous as opioids. The conditions of mixing drugs and overdosage we see today are nothing short of a panic situation about which something must be done and fast.
Too many complications among patients and meaningless deaths are occurring for this state of affairs to continue for long without tragic consequences.
The scientists and researchers are also busy doing experiments to find out which drug combinations spell danger and which do not. There are risks associated with taking a combination of the drugs and so health care providers ought to be available that know which drugs to give the patients.
Opioid analgesics are potent painkillers. Among their ranks may be included: oxycodone, hydrocodone and morphine. There are opioids in cough medications too.
The abuse of these drugs began in earnest two decades ago. Benzodiazepines meanwhile are meant for anxiety, insomnia and seizures. Both opioids and benzodiazepines take the CNS down a notch or two.
Yet both are unique drugs in that their pharmacological profiles are different from each other. The FDA has taken notice of the sad fact that several physicians had been prescribing them together. The two drugs ought to be kept apart since their combination is deadly.