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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