Benzo-opioid combo sparks overdose concern
Prescription of benzodiazepines concurrently with opioid analgesics is linked to a fourfold higher risk of lethal overdose among patients, a large study suggests.
Analysis of 2400 overdose deaths among a cohort of US veterans receiving opioid analgesics showed about half died during a period in which they were also prescribed benzodiazepines.
The risk of death was dose-dependent, rising as the daily benzodiazepine dose increased.
Professor Mal Hopwood, president of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, said although the