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Don't drink and take painkillers! It can trigger a deadly respiratory problem, study warns

by , 10 February 2017
Don't drink and take painkillers! It can trigger a deadly respiratory problem, study warns
Do you take painkillers and then drink alcohol? If yes, you'll be shocked to know that a new study published online in the journal Anaesthesiology has revealed that doing so can trigger a potentially deadly respiratory problems - especially in seniors.

Lead study author Dr Albert Dahan, head of the Anaesthesia and Pain Research Unit at Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, reported, “Unfortunately, we're seeing more fatalities and people in emergency rooms after having misused or abused legally prescribed opioid painkillerss, like oxycodone, while having consumed alcohol.”

“Respiratory depression, where breathing becomes very shallow or stops temporarily, is a potentially fatal complication of opioid use. We found alcohol exacerbated the already harmful respiratory effects of opioids,” Dahan added.

Here's how alcohol worsens the effect of opioids plus how it takes with a modest amount of alcohol to put yourself at risk...

Study finds that mixing opioid painkillers with alcohol can trigger a deadly respiratory problem

To reach their findings, Dahan and his team assessed how mixing the widely prescribed opioid painkiller, oxycodone (an ingredient in the brand-name drugs OxyContin and Percocet) with alcohol affected 12 volunteers between ages 21 and 28 as well as 12 older volunteers between ages 66 and 77.
 
None of the study participants had taken this type of painkiller previously.
 
Dahan and his team were startled to find that taking a single oxycodone painkiller with a modest amount of alcohol increased the risk of respiratory depression, also known as hypoventilation.
 
They noted that study participants in the older group were much more likely to have repeated episodes of respiratory depression (where they stopped breathing) compared to participants in the younger group.

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Researchers say that they hope to increase awareness regarding the health dangers of taking opioids

According to the US National Institute on Drug Abuse, a whopping two million Americans abuse prescription opioids.
 
Even scarier? According to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, every day, about 78 people in America die from overdosing on opioids. And research confirms that majority of these deaths usually involve other substances, such as alcohol.
 
Dahan spoke out in a news release, “We hope to increase awareness regarding the dangers of prescription opioids, the increased danger of the simultaneous use of opioids and alcohol, and that elderly people are at an even greater increased risk of this potentially life-threatening side effect.”
 
“Ultimately, people should know that it is never a good idea to drink alcohol with opioids,” he added.
 
If you’re currently on prescription opioids, you should have a chat with your doctor about alternative options – especially if you drink alcohol.



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