All therapies with controlled substances should be of limited duration ?

finalnailcoffinLimit Prescribing Opioids, Benzos Together, FDA Warns

To reduce the risk for overdose deaths, clinicians should not prescribe opioid pain medicines together with benzodiazepines to patients unless there are no adequate alternative treatments available, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced today.

Both classes of drugs are central nervous system (CNS) depressants, which can trigger respiratory depression, coma, and death.

The FDA is spelling out this and other precautions in class-wide boxed warnings on the labels of opioid painkillers such as oxycodone, prescription cough medicine containing opioids, benzodiazepines, which include alprazolam (Xanax, Pharmacia and Upjohn), and other CNS depressants.

The decision to essentially classify the combination of opioids and benzodiazepine as a last-resort therapy is the FDA’s latest measure to battle the nation’s epidemic of prescription opioid abuse. An agency review found that the rate of emergency department visits related to the nonmedical use of opioids and benzodiazepines in combination tripled from 2004 to 2011, going from 11 visits per 100,000 population to 34.2 visits. In this same time span, the rate of deaths related to overdoses on this mix of drugs tripled as well.

This rising death toll coincided with a 41% increase in the number of patients who were prescribed both an opioid painkiller and a benzodiazepine between 2002 and 2014, according to the FDA.

The agency advises clinicians that if they have no choice but to prescribe the opioid analgesics and benzodiazepines together, they should limit the dosage and duration of each drug to the minimum needed to effectively treat the patient. Clinicians should warn patients about the risks for slowed or labored breathing. They also should avoid prescribing opioid cough medicines for patients taking benzodiazepines and other CNS depressants, including alcohol.

More information on today’s announcement is available on the FDA website.

Follow Robert Lowes on Twitter @LowesRobert

3 Responses

  1. All of the medications active ingredients were quietly lowered by 40%, and the side-effects from the “oxycodones” include a severe sleep deprivation component as well as fuzzy fibers in the throat, strange sensations on the brain, weight gain, inability to relax. [pray to God that an authentic pill is mixed in the bottle], The pill fizzes in the mouth before water can reach the mouth. Ambien is a placebo, [nothing at all like it was]. Stains and dyes tatooing the organs and brain. Covert and dangerous nondisclosure regarding ingredients, probably radio-active materials. It’s torture to not sleep for months. KVK oxycodone almost caused an anyuerism; I returned it. Total disregard for human health, life, hateful practices that would have lost in a court of law but pharmacies and drug companies were given a back door deal giving immunity from lawsuits resulting in death or injury, [3 unrelated pharmacies admitted this to me]. Arsenic in my former dextroamphetamine sulphate; I filled a quality control report and the manufacturer lied to me about any changes at all.. The damage, ptsd, disregard for my life; it’s a crime, horrific and incomprehensible. This has nothing to do with health, it’s about torture and death, it’s sadistic and inhumane and illegal. Dirty and dangerous drugs that the pharmacist says he’s “not allowed to analyze” This is a HOLOCAUST against people who are vulnerable. Who is severely Mentally Ill ???
    How could this happen ?? Massive mind control ? Mass depopulation with a satanic twist, creating TERROR and FEAR. There are no words to express the damage, betrayal and abuses from those in authority. When the full truth comes out people will find it impossible to accept that they played a role in this. If an illusive authority figure tells someone to torture a kitten, it’s shocking how many people would.

    • Well I am still alive after taking these nasty medications. If you knew anything about medical history you would see how life changing medication has been in saving lives. We no longer live in a time where everything you bought at the pharmacy for you ills had either alcohol or opium active ( but unknown ) ingredient. While we do not face that today all medications has a risk to taking them. Today however we do not ask the question we should always ask when starting a new medication, is the payout worth the risk. Medications have alway had some risk when taking them.and probably alway will.

  2. Uhh..thoughtless as hell? Did they spend 5 minutes coming up with this. I take benzo’s from my psychiatrist and opioids from my pain management doctor. thats two doctors. So hows that going to work.

    Limit dosage on benzo’s and the patient is going to be fucked up worse than if they lower opioid dosage. Benzo’s are far worse drug than opioids.

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