| abuse

Safely Prescribing Opioids, and Naloxone

Potentially Saving Those Who Overdose

“Even during this global pandemic, we have continued to prioritize addressing the opioid crisis,” says Stephen M. Hahn, MD, the FDA’s Commissioner, referring to the FDA’s new labeling requirement. This labeling—on opioid pain medication and opioid use disorder medication—must include the recommendation that healthcare professions prescribing these medications should also discuss the use of naloxone. In addition, these practitioners should consider prescribing naloxone along with the other medications. Naloxone can be administered by patients and caregivers, and reduce opioid overdose deaths, including potentially children, or others at risk for accidental ingestion.

These changes in labeling are aimed at patients at increased overdose risk, including those on benzodiazepines or other central nervous system depressants, or if the patient has a history of overdose. The recommendations and labeling will be “added to the prescribing information for opioid pain medicines and medicines to treat OUD, including buprenorphine, methadone and naltrexone.” Practitioners are encouraged to discuss naloxone with patients beginning a medication routine, and their caregivers, and if renewing medication.


Read the FDA announcement.