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Prescription Drug Abuse

Is it safe to use opioid drugs with other medications?

Only under a physician's supervision can opioids be used safely with other drugs. Typically, they should not be used with other substances that depress the CNS, such as alcohol, antihistamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, or general anesthetics, because these combinations increase the risk of life-threatening respiratory depression.

This page was last updated October 2011

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