Research funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found that patients taking opioids for long-term chronic pain, who were given prescriptions for naloxone in a primary care setting, had 63 percent fewer opioid-related emergency department visits after one year compared to those who did not receive prescriptions for naloxone.
This study presents the first large published data regarding co-prescribing naloxone for primary care patients on long-term opioid therapy for pain.
Primary care providers were more likely to give naloxone prescriptions to patients on higher opioid doses and with prior opioid-related emergency department visits.
The findings suggest that prescribing naloxone in primary care settings is feasible and may offer an additional benefit to reducing opioid-related adverse events.
Study authors indicate they do not know how many patients filled their prescriptions, and their analyses suggests a behavioral impact of naloxone co-prescription, as patients become more aware of the hazards of these medications and may engage in efforts to improve medication safety.
For a copy of the abstract, "Nonrandomized Intervention Study of Naloxone Coprescription for Primary Care Patients Receiving Long-Term Opioid Therapy for Pain," published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, click here.