Patients using painkillers put life in danger taking sleeping pills: Study

Thursday 16 March 2017 1 month ago 45   London    Print

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Report  Web desk : LONDON: Taking prescription painkillers with sleeping pills puts people at greater risk of an overdose, researchers have warned. The study, published in the British Medical Journal, shows that taking strong prescription painkillers, known as opioids, together with benzodiazepines - widely used to treat sleep problems and anxiety - is associated with a greater risk of an opioid overdose. The researchers say opioids should be prescribed cautiously among patients who are also taking benzodiazepines, and called for education programmes that warn prescribers and patients about the risks of taking both medications concurrently. They said that, in many countries, the increased use of prescription painkillers and the resulting potential for addiction and overdose represent a growing public health concern. Nearly 30 per cent of fatal "opioid" overdoses in the United States also involve benzodiazepines. The researchers said that raises the possibility that some of the increase in opioid related deaths might be caused by increases in their concurrent use with benzodiazepines over time. They set out to identify trends in concurrent use of a benzodiazepine and an opioid - and to identify the impact of the trends on admissions to hospital and emergency room visits for opioid overdose. 02