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Prescription Drug Abuse

Is it safe to use CNS depressants with other medications?

Only under a physician's supervision is it safe to use CNS depressants with other medications. Typically, they should not be combined with any other medication or substance that causes CNS depression, including prescription pain medicines, some OTC cold and allergy medications, and alcohol. Using CNS depressants with these other substances—particularly alcohol—can affect heart rhythm, slow respiration, and even lead to death.

This page was last updated October 2011

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National Institute on Drug Abuse (2011). Is it safe to use CNS depressants with other medications?. In Prescription Drug Abuse. Retrieved from http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/prescription-drugs/cns-depressants/it-safe-to-use-cns-depressants-other-medications

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​Research Reports

This series of reports simplifies the science of research findings for the educated lay public, legislators, educational groups, and practitioners. The series reports on research findings of national interest.