With Tough Warning Label, FDA Aims To Curb Fatal Overdoses From Mixing Opioids, Sedatives
The agency will require "black box warnings" -- its strongest type -- on more than 400 products. The move comes following criticism that it has not done enough to stem the rising tide of the opioid crisis.
The New York Times:
F.D.A. Orders Stronger Warning On Common Painkiller-Sedative Mix
The Food and Drug Administration announced on Wednesday that it would require its toughest warning labels to caution patients against taking opioid painkillers together with benzodiazepines, like Xanax and Valium. The combination makes an overdose more likely and the warning is aimed at making sure people understand that. Benzodiazepines are prescribed for anxiety, insomnia and seizures, and opioids for pain. The drugs work by depressing the central nervous system. Increasingly, doctors have been prescribing them together. The number of patients who were prescribed both drugs rose by 41 percent — about 2.5 million people — from 2002 to 2014, the agency said. (Tavernise, 8/31)