The opioid reversal agent Narcan (naloxone) was reportedly used to save singer Demi Lovato’s life after an apparent drug overdose, and pharmacists may get more questions this week about what this medication is used for and how to use it. A video below contains advice on how to answer those questions.
The opioid reversal agent Narcan (naloxone) was reportedly used to save singer Demi Lovato’s life after an apparent drug overdose, according to sources reported by TMZ.com.1
TMZ.com noted that the singer had previously struggled with substance abuse issues, but at one point had remained sober from alcohol, cocaine, and opioids for 6 years.1
In a recently issued recommendation, US Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams, MD, MPH, emphasized that naloxone can save lives, and encouraged Americans to carry and know how to use the drug. Additionally, an increasing number of states have enacted standing orders to make naloxone available without a prescription.
However, a 2016 study found that many pharmacists in Indiana had not dispensed Narcan to their patients, indicating that the medication was not being fully utilized. The Surgeon General Advisory encourages those at increased risk, their friends and family, and other potential witnesses, to be prepared to respond to an opioid overdose emergency, by obtaining naloxone.
Individuals at higher risk include those who are misusing licit or illicit opioids, those taking higher doses of opioid pain medicine, and those taking benzodiazepine sleeping aides and opioid pain medicine concurrently, according to a statement from ADAPT Pharma.3 The advisory also encourages health care providers to provide patients opioid risk education and to prescribe or dispense naloxone to those at increased risk of an opioid overdose. The advisory also notes that the CDC advises health care providers to consider offering naloxone to individuals when factors that increase risk for overdose or concurrent benzodiazepine use are present.