2012 to 2019 Saw Rise in Naloxone Rx in the Emergency Department

Increases also seen for coprescribing with opioids
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Medically Reviewed By:
Meeta Shah, M.D.

MONDAY, April 17, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Rates of prescriptions for naloxone in emergency departments increased from 2012 to 2019, according to a study published in the March issue of the American Journal of Emergency Medicine.

Christine Ramdin, Ph.D., from the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in New Brunswick, and colleagues used data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (2012 to 2019) to assess trends in the rate of naloxone prescribing at discharge from emergency department visits.

The researchers identified 250,365 patient visits where naloxone was prescribed at discharge, with an increasing rate over time (0 percent of all visits in 2012 to 0.075 percent of all visits in 2019). Increases were seen for naloxone being both administered in the emergency department and prescribed at discharge as well as in naloxone and opioid coprescribing. An increase was also seen for utilization of opioids during the emergency department visit and naloxone prescribing at discharge for the same visit.

"It's good to know that naloxone is being prescribed alongside opioids with increasing frequency," Ramdin said in a statement. "However, these prescribing rates are insufficient to account for the larger rate of patients that come to the emergency department with an overdose or opioid-related complication. This is a trend we need to continuously improve.”

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