The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising that the opioid addiction medications buprenorphine and methadone should not be withheld from patients taking benzodiazepines or other drugs that depress the central nervous system (CNS). The combined use of these drugs increases the risk of serious side effects; however, the harm caused by untreated opioid addiction can outweigh these risks. Careful medication management by health care professionals can reduce these risks. They are requiring this information to be added to the buprenorphine and methadone drug labels along with detailed recommendations for minimizing the use of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) drugs and benzodiazepines together.
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