“Buprenorphine and methadone should not be withheld from patients struggling with opioid addiction if they’re also using benzodiazepines or other drugs that depress the central nervous system, the FDA says—even though the combined use of these drugs increases the risk of serious adverse effects.
“The dangers associated with failing to treat an opioid use disorder can outweigh the risks of co-prescribing MAT [medication-assisted treatment] and benzodiazepines,” says FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD. “Instead, careful management of the patient and coordination of care is recommended.”
Gottlieb noted that addressing the opioid epidemic “is my highest public health priority” and that MAT—the use of medication combined with counseling and behavioral therapies—“is one of the major pillars of the federal response.”
Source: ManagedCareMag.com – September 21, 2017
See related article: Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., On the Agency’s Continued Efforts to Promote the Safe Adoption of Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction available at: https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm576752.htm