Unintentional overdose involving prescription opioids is a leading cause of injury-related deaths in the United States.

Protect Your Patients with the Texas PMP & Naloxone

Unintentional overdose involving prescription opioids is a leading cause of injury-related deaths in the United States. Checking the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) for every patient, every time is an evidence-based strategy to help prevent drug interactions, prescription opioid misuse, and overdose deaths. Along with checking the PMP, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) recommends prescribers discuss the availability of naloxone — a life-saving medication that rapidly reverses the effects of an opioid overdose — with all patients prescribed opioids. Additionally, both the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend considering co-prescribing it to patients who are at increased risk of opioid overdose.

HOW NALOXONE WORKS

Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that blocks the effects of opioids. If a person is experiencing respiratory depression from an overdose, naloxone helps them breathe normally again. Naloxone is not a controlled substance and cannot be misused. Naloxone only works when there are opioids in a person’s system — the medication has no effect if opioids are absent.

TALKING TO PATIENTS ABOUT NALOXONE

When you discuss or co-prescribe naloxone, you make it clear that opioid medications have risks — and you want your patient to be aware of those risks. Should a bad reaction to opioids or accidental ingestion by another family member occur, having the tool to reverse it on-hand acts as a safety net.

After reviewing your patient’s prescription history in the PMP, try beginning the conversation like this: “Now that we’ve discussed the purpose and risks of your medication, I want to tell you about naloxone. It’s recommended that every time someone receives a prescription opioid, we discuss the possibility of a prescription for naloxone. Having it just in case of a bad reaction can keep you safe when taking prescription opioids.”

If your patient is hesitant to discuss naloxone, you can increase buy-in by explaining the benefits and emphasizing that you’re not going to change their existing medication regimen.

LEARN MORE ABOUT NALOXONE AND THE TEXAS PMP

Co-prescribing naloxone is an effective risk-reduction strategy to provide additional safety for your patients at increased risk of overdose. For more information about naloxone and other risk-reduction strategies, visit OperationNaloxone.org for free CME programs and clinical materials.

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