FDA adds strongest warning to popular painkillers
The Food and Drug Administration declared that it would require strong new warnings that the combined use of opioid medications and benzodiazepines, a class of anti-anxiety medications can dangerously suppress breathing and cause coma or death. Thus, the stronger warning is required just to ensure the public that the combination can be dangerous.
Benzodiazepines are recommended for nervousness, sleep deprivation and seizures, and opioids for pain. These medications work by depressing the central nervous system. From 2002 to 2014, the organization said that the number of patients who were recommended both medications ascended by 41% around 2.5 million individuals. However, two classes of drugs can result in extreme sleepiness, coma and death. Between 2004 and 2011, the agency said, emergency-department visits involving nonmedical use of both drug classes also increased significantly. During that period, the agency cited a tripling of overdose deaths among people taking prescribed or greater-than-prescribed doses of both drug classes.
Although, these drugs already have cautions against using both together. But some changes were taken which will have made those warnings far tougher. This move was part of a broader federal effort in an attempt to reduce deaths from these drug overdoses, which are now more common than deaths from car crashes and accidents in the United States.