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Stanford researchers have determined that taking strong prescription painkillers together with sleeping pills is associated with greater risk of overdose. Ninety-one Americans die every day from an opioid overdose — a that has quadrupled sinceaccording to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
A study released today in The BMJ shows that nearly 30 percent of those fatal opioid overdoses in the United States also involve benzodiazepineswhich are widely used to treat anxiety and sleep problems. But doctors appear to be increasingly prescribing both — at the same time.
Doctor who worked as private gp is suspended for 12 months for excessive prescribing
Using a large sample of privately insured patients from tothe researchers found that concurrent sleeping pill and opioid prescribing increased by 80 percent over that time period. Overall, we found that it happens, but more importantly, it's been increasing over time.
The researchers set out to identify trends in concurrent use of a benzodiazepine and an opioid — and to identify the impact of these trends on admissions to hospital and emergency room visits for opioid overdose. Their study involved overprivately insured people aged 18 to 64 who were prescribed an opioid and a benzodiazepine.
They found that 9 percent of opioid users also used a benzodiazepine inincreasing to 17 percent inor an 80 percent relative increase. Compared with opioid users who did not use benzodiazepines, concurrent use of both drugs was associated with a substantially higher risk of an emergency room visit or inpatient admission for opioid overdose.
This is an Dihydrocodeine sleeping pills study, however, so no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect.
Education programs should be implemented at hospitals and clinics, they wrote, suggesting that the training programs emulate the Veterans Health Administration's initiative to reduce the use of opioids for chronic pain. ly: Repeal of ACA would worsen opioid epidemic, Stanford researcher saysMedical marijuana and the risk of painkiller overdose and Unmet expectations: Testifying before Congress on the opioid abuse epidemic Photo by Ajale.
Thank you! Category: Biomedical research.