Potential risks of combining medications

Medicines for treatment of pain and mental illness have benefits and risks. For women, 7 in 10 prescription drug deaths include painkillers. But other prescription drugs play a role in overdoses as well. Women are more likely than men to die of overdoses on medicines for mental health conditions, like antidepressants. Antidepressants and benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety or sleep drugs) send more women than men to emergency departments. Mental health drugs can be especially dangerous when mixed with prescription painkillers and/or alcohol. If you take mental health drugs and prescription painkillers, discuss the combination with your health care provider.