Study: Some common drugs may make opioid overdoses 5 times more likely

Nearly two-thirds of all opioid-related overdoses also include other drugs; within that two-thirds, there are certain combinations of opioids and other drugs that up an individual's chance of overdose by five times, according to a recent study published in JAMA.

The common class of drug that incites more overdoses when paired with an opioid is the benzodiazepine family. Often called 'benzos,' these drugs are prescribed to alleviate anxiety.

The study examined data collected from more than 71,000 Medicare Part D beneficiaries. Data illustrated simultaneous use of opioids and benzos influences overdose risk over time, specifically during the first 90 days of use.

"Patients who must be prescribed both an opioid and a benzodiazepine should be closely monitored by health care professionals due to an increased risk for overdose, particularly in the early days of this medication regimen," said Inmaculada Hernandez, PharmD, PhD, an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, in a press release.

More artilces on opioids: 

Sculptor places 700-pound heroin spoon outside Purdue Pharma headquarters
Schumacher Clinical Partners addresses opioid epidemic
Viewpoint: Opioid treatment calls for more than just new drugs

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