More Schools Stocking Naloxone in Response to Heroin Epidemic

A growing number of schools across the country are stocking the opioid overdose antidote naloxone in response to the heroin epidemic, The New York Times reports.

Schools in Massachusetts, Kentucky, Connecticut and New Mexico have naloxone for emergency use. New York State provides naloxone for free to schools, and almost 250 schools in Pennsylvania have received a free supply. In Rhode Island, all middle schools and high schools must have naloxone on the premises.

Full story of schools stocking up on Naloxone at drugfree.org

Experts: Government Should Call on Naloxone Makers to Reduce Costs

The government should call on manufacturers of the opioid overdose antidote naloxone to reduce the cost of the life-saving drug, experts write in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine.

Rising naloxone prices may threaten attempts to reduce opioid-related deaths, researchers from Yale University and the Mayo Clinic warn. “The challenge is as the price goes up for naloxone, it becomes less accessible for patients,” Ravi Gupta, the study’s lead author, told HealthDay.

Full story of Naxolone makers and costs at drugfree.org

Routinely Prescribing Naloxone Might Prevent Some Opioid-Related Deaths: Study

Routinely prescribing naloxone to certain patients who take opioid medications might reduce the number of overdose deaths, a new study suggests.

The study followed almost 2,000 people who were prescribed opioid painkillers for long-term pain at San Francisco clinics, HealthDay reports. About 38 percent were also prescribed the opioid overdose antidote naloxone. Patients were more likely to receive a prescription for naloxone if they were on a higher dose of opioids, or had experienced an opioid-related emergency room visit.

Patients who received a naloxone prescription had 47 percent fewer opioid-related emergency department visits per month in the six months after receiving the prescription, and 63 percent fewer visits after one year, compared with patients who did not receive naloxone.

Full story of naxolone and preventing opioid related deaths at drugfree.org

Nasal Spray Version of Naloxone Approved to Treat Opioid Overdoses

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday approved a nasal spray version of the opioid overdose antidote naloxone (Narcan). Until now, the only approved version of naloxone was injectable, The New York Times reports.

The company that makes the spray, Adapt Pharma, said it will offer the spray at a discount to emergency workers, police and firefighters.

Naloxone is used to reverse overdoses of opioids including prescription medications such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and morphine, as well as heroin. The FDA noted in a press release that if naloxone is administered quickly, it can counter the effects of an opioid overdose, usually within two minutes.

Full story of nasal spray version of Naloxone at drugfree.org