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Friday, May 26, 2017

Painkillers Dangers and Overdose Risk of Medications

Painkillers Dangers and Overdose Risk

Painkillers Dangers and Overdose Risk
Painkillers Dangers and Overdose Risk

Painkillers are becoming a real problem in this society. People are dying from combining prescription painkillers. These deaths are due to mixing high strength painkillers with other prescription medication or tranquilizers such as Xanax. Health officials are increasing the warning about the dangers of mixing painkillers and their side effects including death.

Opioids and sedatives can be a dangerous combination. Mixing these two forms of medication can lead to breathing problems. They can be so severe that are person can die from them according to the Food and Drug Administration.

AIDS Medications


Medical technicians often handle the medications that are used to treat HIV and AIDS. The Witman Walker Clinic in Washington D.C is a community health organization. They are focused on helping the gay, lesbian, and transgender community receive care if they have HIV or AIDS. They are given some of the strongest medication that is available. The FDA is going to issue a black box warning which is the strongest warning on this medication. They are also looking to add this warning to 400 other drugs that are considered to be opioids and benzodiazepines.

According the Dr. Leana Wen who is the Commissioner in charge of the Baltimore City Health the FDA cannot wait any longer to issue these strong warnings. Wen along with other professionals in the health care field are looking to make this change right away and warn patients of the dangers of their prescription medication.

Wen works in the emergency room and sees which medications are commonly prescribed. She also sees what happens when the painkillers are mixed. She has stated that for many it is common to prescribe opioids for pain and benzodiazepines to help with anxiety. This is done as a routine part of the practice.

Opioid Abuse


There has been a scary trend happening in the recent years. Health care officials have seen unintentional overdoses from mixing prescription grade opioids with benzodiazepines. When a person mixes these medications the body will have an increased feeling of tiredness and the breathing will slow. This will increase the chances of a person having a fatal overdose.

According to information from the FDA there has been a 41 percent increase in the number of people that are receiving opioid medications for pain and are being prescribed sedatives as well. Between the year of 2012 and 2014 there were 2.5 million people that were prescribed both types of medications. This has caused the number of deaths due to an overdose to triple between the year 2004 and 2011.

According to the FDA opioids should be used to treat pain as well as a cough. Benzodiazepines should be used to treat conditions such as anxiety, seizures, and insomnia.

The FDA is looking to increase measures in order to keep people safe. They are looking to help decrease the use of opioids and benzodiazepines. They are also looking to decrease the use of depressants that work on the central nervous system. The FDA would like to stop the combination of these types of medications. In addition to asking doctors to prescribe less of these medications the FDA is looking to add a boxed warning which is the strongest warning to these drugs. These warnings will be found on prescription opiods that are used to help people that are in pain. These boxed warnings will also appear on cough medicines that contain opioids. These warnings will also appear on benzodiazepines.

FDA Criticism


For many years the FDA has been criticized for not doing enough to protect people from overdosing. Many say they have not taken the proper measures to limit the access and abuse to specific medications including OxyContin, Vicodin, and Percocet. These are some of the most common prescriptions that are abused. According to officials these drugs can be compared to having the same effect as street drugs such as morphine and heroin.

In the United States deaths from the use of opioids including opioid prescription medication has reach an all time high. The number of deaths from an overdose on this medication are setting new and alarming records.

In the year 2014 there were more than 47,000 people that died as a result on an overdose on these medications. More than 32,000 people died in a road accident where they took their medication and then go behind the wheel of their car. This information was provided from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that in the year 2013 there were 1.9 million people in the United States that were abusing or depending on their prescription opioids. Originally these people were prescribed this medication in order to help them deal with pain and reduce the amount of pain that they were feeling.

The White House is getting involved in this crisis as well. Back in March they have started a program to help fight the opioid addiction epidemic. They are trying to be proactive and prevent more people from becoming addicted to prescription painkillers. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is also trying to stop the addiction problem before it gets worse. They have issued a new set of guidelines back in May that was sent to doctors. They are asking doctors to be very careful and limit the number of prescriptions that they write for pain killers and other drugs that have been leading to overdoses and deaths.

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