Avoid Using Opioids and Benzodiazepines Together
New boxed warnings will highlight the dangers of using opioids with benzodiazepines...including respiratory depression and death.
The number of patients prescribed both an opioid and benzo has gone up by about 40% in the last 15 years...and overdose deaths linked to these combos have nearly tripled.
Continue to try to avoid using opioids with benzos OR other CNS depressants...such as sleep meds (zolpidem, etc), muscle relaxants (cyclobenzaprine, etc), or alcohol. Be extra careful in patients who have other risks for respiratory depression...COPD, sleep apnea, etc.