Opioids involved in most medical overdose deaths

Opioids involved in most medical overdose deaths
Opioid analgesics are involved in the majority of pharmaceutical-related overdose deaths, frequently involving drugs prescribed for mental health conditions, according to a research letter published in the Feb. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

(HealthDay)—Opioid analgesics are involved in the majority of pharmaceutical-related overdose deaths, frequently involving drugs prescribed for mental health conditions, according to a research letter published in the Feb. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Christopher M. Jones, Pharm.D., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed 2010 data from the National Vital Statistics System multiple cause-of-death file to identify pharmaceutical- and opioid-related overdose deaths in the United States and the specific drugs involved.

The researchers found that there were 38,329 , of which 22,134 (57.7 percent) involved pharmaceuticals. Of the pharmaceutical-related deaths, 75.2 percent involved opioids, 29.4 percent involved benzodiazepines, 17.6 percent involved antidepressants, and 7.8 percent involved antiepileptic and anti-parkinsonism drugs. Among overdose deaths involving opioid analgesics, benzodiazepines and antidepressants were most common. Among overdose deaths involving other pharmaceuticals, opioids were frequently implicated.

"This analysis confirms the predominant role play in pharmaceutical overdose deaths, either alone or in combination with other drugs," Jones and colleagues write. "It also, however, highlights the frequent involvement of drugs typically prescribed for such as benzodiazepines, antidepressants, and antipsychotics in overdose deaths."

More information: Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Nonprescription medication abuse underestimated

Oct 04, 2012

Nonprescription medications are just as likely a cause of poisoning as prescription drugs, according to a new study by Timothy Wiegand, M.D. from the University of Rochester Medical Center in the US and colleagues. Their ...

Recommended for you

FDA proposes accelerated medical device approval plan

Apr 23, 2014

(HealthDay)—The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed a new program that would provide expedited access to high-risk medical devices intended for patients with serious conditions whose medical ...

Targeting drugs to reduce side effects

Apr 23, 2014

(Medical Xpress)—Consider ice cream – the base of which is frozen cream. Ingredients are then added to make different flavours. All these flavours are distinctly different but are created from the same foundation.

User comments