Warnings about concurrent use of opioids, benzodiazepines.

“This is an important health fact that is not broadly known. This is not research. It is a petition asking for warning labels. A combination of benzodiazepines and opioid pain medications is common. Benzodiazepines are a class of psychoactive drugs used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and a range of other conditions. They are one of the most widely prescribed medications in the U.S., particularly among elderly patients. Benzodiazepines possess sedative, hypnotic, anti-anxiety, anticonvulsant, and muscle relaxant properties.” Bill Chesnut, MD.

Public health officials petition FDA to add boxed warnings about concurrent use of opioids, benzodiazepines.

The Washington Post (2/22, Dennis) reports in “To Your Health” that “dozens of public health officials and academics across the country are pushing the Food and Drug Administration to warn people about the potential dangers of taking” opioid pain medications along with benzodiazepines. In a petition, officials from 41 state and municipal health departments, as well as some universities, “urged the agency” to add boxed warnings to both medications, “given evidence that using them together increases the chance of deadly overdoses.”