Benzo, Opioid Combination in Alzheimer’s Patients Potentially Dangerous

About 20% of people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) take both a prescription opioid and tranquilizer medication together, and that’s problematic as it can lead to serious risks.

Researchers say that AD patients who took a benzodiazepine, such as Xanax (alprazolam), Valium (diazepam) and Ativan (lorazepam), along with an opioid had a higher incidence of lung disease, osteoporosis and hip fracture in the past. They added that using benzodiazepines, which are often prescribed to seniors as sleep aids, while also taking an opioid can boost the risk for pneumonia, fractures and drug misuse.

Researchers based their findings, published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, on data on more than 70,000 diagnosed with AD in Finland.

Both benzodiazepines and opioids are on the Beers Criteria, a list of drugs that are potentially inappropriate for seniors because their risks may outweigh their benefits.

“Concomitant use of drugs that act on the central nervous system in an older population is concerning, as the use of these drugs has been associated with serious risks, especially in frail individuals with AD,” lead author Niina Karttunen, University of Eastern Finland, said in a statement. “Unnecessary co-use of these drugs should be avoided, as the benefits rarely outweigh the risks.”


Did you find this article helpful?


Latest News

Breaking News – EpiPen Malfunction

Breaking News – EpiPen Malfunction

Just released from the FDA – Pfizer has informed the FDA that they are aware of several continuing problems that people are having using the EpiPen (epinephrine) and EpiPen Jr (epinephrine) auto-injectors and generic versions. Some of the problems are from user error and some from EpiPen malfunction. Here are…

ACE Inhibitors in the Time of Coronavirus

ACE Inhibitors in the Time of Coronavirus

Are you worried about ACE inhibitors and coronavirus? You may be hearing that one of the entry methods for the coronavirus in humans is by attaching to the ACE-2 enzyme. This has raised alarms among those with heart disease who use ACE inhibitors (with names ending in -pril, such as…

  • Advertisement