Naloxone ‘Stigma’ a Barrier to Prescribing?

“Although giving out naloxone to patients at high risk of overdose sounds like a good idea, researchers who work with the drug say the stigma surrounding its use may be a barrier to wider uptake among both patients and doctors.

Patients may feel they’re being treated like addicts and that their opioid prescriptions will be tempered, while doctors worry that just talking about naloxone may scare patients away, said Caleb Banta-Green, PhD, MPH, of the University of Washington in Seattle. “Both doctors and patients feel like they’re under the microscope,” Banta-Green told MedPage Today. “It’s a very sensitive time.”

Banta-Green and his colleagues are enrolling patients at high risk for opioid overdose — both heroin users and patients on prescription opioids — in a randomized trial to test whether providing naloxone, along with education and counseling, can reduce overdose.”

Source: – April 9, 2014