September 2, 2016 | Anxiety. Something that everyone experiences in life. Whether it be from work, school, relationships, finances, etc. Anxiety affects us all. So much so, that several individuals across the world rely on heavy medication for it. Medication that can be harmful to the human body when not taken carefully.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) patients and doctors should more fully understand the potentially life-threatening risks of combining anti-anxiety or sleep medications with prescription opioids. The FDA is requiring that more than 400 products carry a black box warning highlighting the risks from combined use.
WHAT BROUGHT THIS UP?
Good question. The move comes after an extensive review of scientific evidence by the FDA showing that physicians have been increasingly prescribing these drugs together. There was also a request for action in February, when health officials in cities and states across the country petitioned the agency for the change to the drug labels, citing an increase in overdoses from simultaneous use of the drugs.
From 2004 to 2011, the FDA says, the rate of emergency department visits involving nonmedical use of both drug classes increased significantly. Overdose deaths from taking prescribed or greater-than-prescribed doses of both drug classes nearly tripled! Painkillers and cough treatments containing opioids will be required to carry the new warning include oxycodone, hydrocodone and morphine, among other drugs.
WHY THE BLACK BOX WARNING?
The black box warning is a powerful education tool that will help prevent deaths from this dangerous combination. Many physicians around the globe are thanking the FDA for taking action to prevent these things from happening.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Well, if you or someone you know is currently taking these kinds of medications, you should seek your doctor immediately for any questions and concerns you may have. You can also further educate yourself by visiting the FDA’s website here.
It is important that we be educating ourselves on this issue. Thanks for reading and have a safe labor day weekend!