The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends healthcare professionals discuss naloxone with all patients when prescribing opioid pain relievers or medicines to treat opioid use disorder
- For all patients who are prescribed opioid pain relievers, healthcare professionals should discuss the availability of naloxone, and consider prescribing it to patients who are at increased risk of opioid overdose, such as patients who are also using benzodiazepines or other medicines that depress the central nervous system, who have a history of opioid use disorder (OUD), or who have experienced a previous opioid overdose. Healthcare professionals should also consider prescribing naloxone if the patient has household members, including children, or other close contacts at risk for accidental ingestion or opioid overdose.
- For all patients who are prescribed medicines to treat OUD, healthcare professionals should discuss the availability of naloxone and strongly consider prescribing it. For methadone and buprenorphine-containing products, health care professionals should also consider prescribing naloxone if the patient has household members, including children, or other close contacts at risk for accidental ingestion or opioid overdose.
- For other patients at increased risk of opioid overdose, healthcare professionals should consider prescribing naloxone, even if the patient is not receiving a prescription for an opioid pain reliever or medicine to treat OUD. This may include people with a current or past diagnosis of OUD or who have experienced a previous opioid overdose.
Opioid pain relievers are medicines that can help manage pain when other treatments and medicines are not able to provide enough pain relief. Certain opioids are also used to treat OUD. Opioids have serious risks, including misuse and abuse, addiction, overdose, and death. Naloxone can help reverse opioid overdose to prevent death.
Through the Great Plains Quality Care Coalition, our team provides targeted assistance to nursing homes,communities, small and rural practices and those in need of customized quality improvement. We focus on results, protecting taxpayer dollars, and ensuring the safety and quality of care delivered to Medicare beneficiaries in our states. Reducing opioid-related harms is one of the goals we have set out to improve. We will be working within targeted communities throughout the Dakotas. All interested providers and community partners are encouraged to join to access educational offerings, resources and tools at no cost.
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