Clinically Relevant Drug-Drug Interactions in Primary Care

Mary Carpenter, PharmD; Holly Berry, PharmD; Allen L. Pelletier, MD


Am Fam Physician. 2019;99(9):558-564. 

In This Article

Combination of Central Nervous System Depressing Agents

Health care professionals should limit prescribing medications that can depress the central nervous system. These agents should be combined only if alternative treatment options are inadequate. If these medicines are prescribed together, limiting the dosages and duration of each medication is preferable.[52] Prescribing opioid cough medicines for patients receiving benzodiazepines or other central nervous system depressants, including alcohol, should also be avoided.[53,54] Patients and caregivers should be educated about signs of central nervous system depression, which include, but are not limited to, slowed or difficulty breathing and/or sedation. A list of drugs predisposing patients to central nervous system depression is provided in Table 7.[50,52,53]