AAFP Encourages Family Doctors to Consider Prescribing Naloxone

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AAFP Encourages Family Doctors to Consider Prescribing Naloxone
AAFP Encourages Family Doctors to Consider Prescribing Naloxone

FRIDAY, Oct. 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A resource has been produced to encourage family physicians to consider prescribing naloxone to patients, their family members, or close friends when there is a risk of opioid overdose, according to a report published by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

Noting that administration of naloxone by nonmedical personnel has saved the lives of more than 26,000 people in the United States from 1996 through June 2014, the American Medical Association (AMA) recently encouraged family physicians and other health professionals to consider prescribing naloxone to patients, their family members, and close friends.

The AMA Task Force to Reduce Opioid Abuse posted a resource, which offers several questions for family physicians to consider in determining whether to coprescribe naloxone. These questions include whether the patient is on a high opioid dose, and whether the patient has a history of substance abuse or underlying mental health conditions that would make them susceptible to overdose. The guide also provides information on naloxone access laws and Good Samaritan laws to protect people who administer the drug.

"Family physicians will hopefully use this flyer to encourage more patients, friends, and family members to agree to put an opioid rescue plan in place and agree to a prescription for naloxone," Robert Rich, M.D., chair of the AAFP Commission of Health of the Public and Science and the Academy's representative on the AMA Task Force, said in a statement.

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