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Who is at risk for breathing problems caused by opioid medication?

Travis M. Hendry, MD
Orthopedic Surgery
Opioid therapy can decrease your breathing, especially during sleep. This problem, called respiratory depression, can cause sudden death. Respiratory depression is more common in patients with obesity, sleep apnea, or lung disease. It's also more common in patients on higher doses of opioids, or who use opioids with alcohol, sleeping pills, anxiety medications, or some other medications.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.