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J Emerg Med. 2018 Jul;55(1):64-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2018.04.022.

Naloxone Use Among Emergency Department Patients with Opioid Overdose.

Author information

1
Department of Emergency Medicine, Wright State University, Boonshoft School of Medicine, Dayton, Ohio.
2
Wright State University, Boonshoft School of Medicine, Dayton, Ohio.
3
Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Emergency department (ED) visits for unintentional opioid overdoses have increased dramatically. Naloxone hydrochloride (Narcan®) is an opioid antagonist commonly used to treat these overdoses.

OBJECTIVE:

This study was undertaken to identify experiences regarding naloxone use among ED patients with opioid overdose.

METHODS:

This prospective survey study was conducted at an urban level I trauma center. A survey was administered to eligible ED patients after unintentional opioid overdose. This study identified current and previous use of naloxone among ED patients with opioid overdose.

RESULTS:

Eight-nine ED patients with accidental overdose of opioids participated (90% participation rate). Most participants reported a history of opioid overdose (n = 62 [70%]). A significant minority stated they have had access to a naloxone kit (n = 28 [31%]). Most participants with a naloxone kit stated that their frequency and dosage of opiate use did not change after access to naloxone (n = 17 [63%]), and a few used opiates more often (n = 1 [4%]) or less often (n = 9 [33%]). There was a significant negative correlation between total dose and age (Spearman ρ -0.27; p = 0.01). There was no association between dose and sex.

CONCLUSIONS:

Many patients presenting with opioid overdose have had a history of opioid overdose. Patients with opioid overdose required a highly variable dose of naloxone. Higher doses of naloxone were associated with lower age. Despite widespread availability of naloxone to consumers, a minority of patients in this study reported access to naloxone. Participants who had access to a naloxone kit stated that their frequency and dosage of opioid use did not change.

KEYWORDS:

naloxone; opioid; opioid overdose

PMID:
29776702
DOI:
10.1016/j.jemermed.2018.04.022
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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