A recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that, based on a study of victims of overdoses of prescription painkillers, that in a very large percentage of the cases a variety of other prescription drugs were also present in the victim’s systems. According to Medical News Today, many people in the health care profession have thought for awhile that other prescription medications were linked in a large number of cases in which prescription painkiller overdose occurred, however it was not clear what specific medications seemed to be most common and so no action towards prevention could really be taken.
The CDC study showed that in 58 percent of the opioid painkiller overdoses studied that at least one other type of medication was also present in the victim’s system. The study was able to determine which other types of prescription drugs were most commonly linked in cases of prescription painkiller overdose. The most commonly found drugs linked to the opioid painkillers were drugs used to treat certain mental health conditions (such as Ativan, Klonopin, Xanax and Valium) as well as antidepressants and antipsychotics.
The number of deaths associated from prescription painkillers has grown vastly in recent years and the CDC found that in 2011 more Americans died from prescription painkillers than from cocaine and heroin combined. Given how many of the victims of opioid painkiller overdose were also taking other prescription drugs and given that healthcare professionals now have a better idea of which of these drugs were most commonly connected with these deaths, it is crucial that patients are fully screened and health records are carefully monitored when any prescriptions are written. for any patient If all healthcare professionals are cautious when prescribing medications to patients to make sure that no unsafe drug combinations are in play, hopefully the number of prescription painkiller overdoses will decrease after so many years with such a dramatic rise in this type of death.
If you or a loved one are currently prescribed both prescription painkillers and one of the other types of prescription medications mentioned above, please contact your healthcare professional immediately to make sure the drug combination and dosage is safe to continue taking. If you or a loved one suffered a severe personal injury or even died from an overdose of prescription painkillers and you believe that you or your loved one was also prescribed one of these other medications, please contact our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys today to discuss what legal options may be available to you or your family.