“Health officials are strengthening warnings about the potentially fatal consequences of mixing prescription painkillers and sedatives like Xanax, saying the combination can lead to breathing problems, coma and death.
The Food and Drug Administration said it will add a boxed warning—the strongest type—to nearly 400 medications about the interaction, including opioid painkillers, opioid-containing cough medicines and benzodiazepines, which are used to treat anxiety, insomnia and seizure disorders.
Painkillers and sedatives are among the most commonly prescribed medications in the U.S., but both drug types slow users’ heart rate and breathing.
FDA officials said the number of opioid patients receiving sedatives increased by 41 percent, or roughly 2.5 million patients, between 2002 and 2014. Overdose deaths linked to non-medical use of the drug combination tripled between 2004 and 2011, according to figures from the agency.
The federal announcement followed a petition from health directors in 16 states and 12 cities filed in February.”
Source: MedicalExpress.com – August 31, 2016