Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Benzodiazepines and Opioid Use May Result in Respiratory Compromise and Death

Using benzodiazepines and opioids may be a deadly combination. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 30% of opioid overdoses involve the use of benzodiazepines.

One of the commonly overlooked complications to safe opioid administration is failing to account for the additive sedation effects of non-opioid medication. In recognition of these dangers, in August 2016, the FDA issued its strongest warning about combined use of opioids and benzodiazepines and issued another caution more recently on September 20, 2017.

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Prince - source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_(musician)
Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Prince’s Fentanyl Overdose Should Prompt Us to Ask “Where Does Opioid Use Begin?”

One of the great musicians of our age is dead – fentanyl is to blame – Prince’s could have been from preventable … these are the sentiments that are enough for public outrage to point to fentanyl as the ultimate killer and call for tighter, more stringent control of opioids and their prescription.

Forgotten in this discussion which brings together Prince, fentanyl, and death and the subsequent knee-jerk reaction to restrict the use of opioids is the vital role that opioids play in the management of pain, such as during surgery or to relieve chronic pain. The use of opioids often begins in the doctor’s office or as a result of a medical procedure. Read More

Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Did an Opioid Overdose Kill Prince?

As the world of music mourns the passing of Prince, the media’s attention has shifted to speculation around the true cause of the Purple Prince’s death.  Official channels from the pop singer’s side have cited complications due to the flu; TMZ tells a different story – one that implicates opioid-related overdose as a cause.  This is not a cliched story of superstar overuse for recreation.  Rather, the Percocet in Prince’s possession has been reported to have been prescribed to treat hip pain.

While the truth will be revealed with formal autopsy, the dangers of opioid-related adverse effects are not limited to overdoses on private jets.  There are real risks for real people. Read More