Home > Naloxone – preliminary advice from the working group updating Drug misuse and dependence: UK guidelines on clinical management.

Strang, John [Public Health England] . (2015) Naloxone – preliminary advice from the working group updating Drug misuse and dependence: UK guidelines on clinical management. London: Public Health England. 3 p.

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The working group updating the 2007 UK national clinical guidelines on drug treatment has published some preliminary advice on naloxone before addressing its supply and use more fully in the published update in 2016. The advice covers naloxone dosing in overdose situations, take-home naloxone products that can be supplied and training that should be provided.

An open letter from Professor John Strang, chair of the clinical guidelines update working group.

Naloxone and its use:
Across Europe, illicit opioid users are 10 times more likely to die than their peers of the same age group and gender, and 6,100 deaths were attributed directly to opioid overdose in 2012.

Naloxone is a potentially life-saving medicine when used in settings associated with opiate misuse and overdose. There is evidence that take-home naloxone given to service users, and training family members or peers in how to administer naloxone, can be effective in reversing heroin overdoses. Its legal status means that anyone can administer naloxone for the purpose of saving a life, and it has been supplied by some drug treatment services since 2005.

However naloxone is only licensed for use in injectable form and remains a prescription-only medicine. This means that at present it can only be distributed to patients with a prescription or via an alternative mechanism (patient group direction (PGD) or patient specific direction (PSD)).
Naloxone is an opioid/opiate antagonist and is already licensed for use in:
1. complete or partial reversal of central nervous system depression and especially respiratory depression, caused by natural or synthetic opioids; and
2. treatment of suspected acute opioid overdose or intoxication.

An NHS England Patient Safety Alert in November 2014 highlighted risks associated with the use of naloxone in patients where it is not indicated, or in larger than recommended doses......


Item Type:Evidence resource
Publication Type:Guideline
Drug Type:Opioid
Intervention Type:AOD disorder harm reduction
Source:Public Health England
Date:July 2015
Pages:3 p.
Publisher:Public Health England
Place of Publication:London
EndNote:View
Related URLs:
Subjects:B Substances > Opioids (opiates) > Opioid product > Naloxone
G Health and disease > Substance use disorder > Drug use > Drug intoxication > Poisoning (overdose)
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Patient care management
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Care by type of problem > Emergency care
VA Geographic area > Europe > United Kingdom

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