Clinicians should strongly consider prescribing or co-prescribing naloxone to certain patients at risk for opioid overdose, and educating them about its use, according to guidance released today by the Department of Health and Human Services. For example, the recommendation includes patients prescribed opioids who are receiving them at a dosage of 50 morphine milligram equivalents per day or greater; have respiratory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or obstructive sleep apnea; have been prescribed benzodiazepines; or have a substance use disorder, excessive alcohol use or mental health disorder. “This new guidance reflects our commitment to ensuring those who need overdose-reversing drugs have them and provides practical steps that clinicians, patients, and the public can take to reduce the risk of an overdose,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar.

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