Coprescribing naloxone to people who take opioids for chronic pain is both feasible and has clinical benefit, according to a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Six San Francisco primary care clinics that had lost patients to opioid overdose in recent years implemented a protocol emphasizing naloxone coprescription for patients with chronic pain. Of nearly 2000 patients receiving opioids for long-term pain management during the study, 38% were also prescribed naloxone. Patients with prior opioid-related emergency department visits and those taking higher opioid doses were more likely to receive a naloxone prescription.
By 1 year, those who received a naloxone prescription had 63% fewer opioid-related emergency department visits than those who didn’t receive a naloxone prescription.