What is it about?
We used pharmaceutical claims to analyze overdose events associated with benzodiazepines in patients with opioid use disorder. Even though buprenorphine treatment days were associated with a nearly 40% decrease in overdose risk, benzodiazepine treatment days correlated with a near-doubling of overdose risk. However, even for individuals taking both buprenorphine and benzodiazepines, buprenorphine appears to retain its protective benefit against overdose.
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Why is it important?
Up to a third of people who suffer opioid overdoses are also using benzodiazepines. Many people who are addicted to opioids also have anxiety or depression for which they have been prescribed a benzodiazepine. How to handle this combination has confounded psychiatrists and addiction specialists. The goal in this study was to learn about the risks and benefits of taking buprenorphine while also taking benzodiazepines. Our data suggests that dose reduction of benzodiazepines while maintaining buprenorphine treatment may provide the advantage of lowering drug-related poisoning risk.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: Association Between Benzodiazepine or Z-Drug Prescriptions and Drug-Related Poisonings Among Patients Receiving Buprenorphine Maintenance: A Case-Crossover Analysis, American Journal of Psychiatry, July 2021, American Psychiatric Association,
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News Release: Study indicates the drug is effective in opioid users who also take benzodiazepines for anxiety, other conditions
The drug buprenorphine is an effective treatment for opioid use disorder, but many who misuse opioids also take benzodiazepines — drugs that treat anxiety and similar conditions. However, many centers that treat patients addicted to opioids do not take patients who are also prescribed benzodiazepines. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis studied overdose risk in people taking buprenorphine and found that the drug lowered the risk, even in people who also took benzodiazepines.
Opioid overdose reduced in patients taking buprenorphine
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis studied overdose risk in people taking buprenorphine and found that the drug lowered risk, even in people who also took benzodiazepines.
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