The FDA has announced that it will now require the manufacturers of certain painkillers, antidepressants and cough medicines to use stronger and clearer warnings about the dangers of mixing these medications. The painkillers in questions are “opioids”, a class of medications that include hydrocodone (e.g., Vicodin), oxycodone (e.g., OxyContin, Percocet), morphine (e.g., Kadian, Avinza), and codeine. The antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications that are concerning include such drugs as Ativan and Xanax. The cough medications referred to include those that have codeine as an ingredient.
Patients who mix these types of medications are at risk coma or death because these medications when combined can dangerously suppress breathing. The drug safety agency has recommended that doctors who prescribe these medications either individually or in combination, take extra care when prescribing them, and it is alerting users of the risks by requiring manufacturers to add black box warnings about the dangers.
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Author: Serena C. Montague
Publication Date: April 4, 2017