Skip to content

Naloxone information for pharmacists who dispense prescription opioids

  • by

This animation has been created for pharmacists who dispense prescribed opioids for chronic pain. Naloxone is a life-saving medicine that reverses the effects of opioids in case of an emergency, while you wait for an ambulance.

Did you know that opioid deaths in australia have doubled in the last decade and prescription opioids contribute to two deaths and 75 hospitalizations every day these harms are not just from taking too much they can happen to patients who take their medicine as prescribed patients who are most at risk are those who are prescribed high-dose opioids those who also

Take other sedatives or those who have co-morbidities even in the most careful patients unexpected factors like changes in health can increase their risk of severe side effects which is sometimes called an overdose naloxone is a life-saving medicine that can reverse the effects of opioids in an emergency while waiting for an ambulance new formulations such as

The intranasal spray make it easier for patients to use any pharmacy can stop naloxone and any pharmacist can supply it without a prescription are you unsure of how to start a conversation about naloxone research shows that most people taking prescribed opioids would appreciate or expect to be offered naloxone as a pharmacist you’re in a position to make sure

This happens you can also empower patients with an opioid safety plan give them tools to respond to a severe reaction and maybe even save a life when starting a conversation about naloxone reassure patients that supplying it is something you discuss with everyone as part of your duties as a pharmacist can i talk to you about a medicine called naloxone it is

Available over the counter and we recommend that anyone taking strong opioids keeps it in the home we know that language is really important when discussing opioid related risks the term overdose means different things to different people some patients may think you are talking about illicit drug use or suicide to avoid stigma and miscommunication we recommend

Using words such as severe side effects instead of overdose but you can choose a term that makes sense to you and your patient whatever word you use make sure you define what it means first you could say something like the most severe side effects from using opioids a loss of consciousness and difficulty breathing which in a worst case scenario can cause death

This is sometimes called an overdose but it can happen even if you take your normal prescribed dose many patients have heard in the media that opioids can cause harm and patients are often relieved to know that they can do something in case of an emergency you can reduce stigma by normalizing naloxone keeping naloxone is like having a fire extinguisher first aid

Kit or epipen we hope you’ll never need it but it’s important to have in your home just in case you can reassure them that this is just a precaution and that it applies to everyone now that you’re talking about naloxone what should the conversation cover to prepare help your patients to prepare a safety plan you can use the maximizing opioid safety leaflet as

A guide and advise the patient to discuss this plan with family friends or a carer when they get home to prevent as with all medicines it’s good practice to discuss how to reduce risks to respond educate the patient on the signs and symptoms to look out for and explain how to use naloxone encourage them to discuss these with their family friends or carer it’s

Easy to administer it’s just one spray or one injection and you can check the product for more details taking just five minutes to discuss naloxone empowers your patients with a safety plan in case of emergency you might also save someone’s life you

Transcribed from video
Naloxone information for pharmacists who dispense prescription opioids By Turning Point