PRE­SCRIP­TION PAIN MEDS: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Reader's Digest (Canada) - - Health - Anne Pap­mehl

Liv­ing with con­stant pain is a daily strug­gle for peo­ple with bone and joint con­di­tions like arthri­tis and fi­bromyal­gia. For pain man­age­ment, these pa­tients are some­times pre­scribed opi­oids like codeine, mor­phine, or fen­tanyl. While these med­i­ca­tions help to im­prove func­tion, they come with a per­ilous down­side — the risk of ad­dic­tion and/or ac­ci­den­tal over­dose.

The opioid cri­sis con­tin­ues to worsen, with hos­pi­tal­iza­tion rates from opioid poi­son­ing ris­ing from about nine per day to 16 per day over the past decade. It is there­fore crit­i­cal that those us­ing pre­scrip­tion opi­oids are pre­pared in case of an over­dose.

“It’s a con­cen­trated, easy-to-use dose that re­quires no assem­bly and was de­vel­oped with the

com­mu­nity in mind.”

Re­duc­ing the risk of ac­ci­den­tal over­dose

NAR­CAN 4mg (nalox­one HCl) is a nasal spray that tem­po­rar­ily re­verses the ef­fects of an opioid over­dose. It’s a con­cen­trated, easy-to-use dose that re­quires no assem­bly and was de­vel­oped with the com­mu­nity in mind for use by in­di­vid­u­als, fam­ily, friends, and care­givers. It’s avail­able free of charge at phar­ma­cies in On­tario and Que­bec, and across Canada for those cov­ered un­der the Non-In­sured Health Ben­e­fits (NIHB) pro­gram.

If you or some­one in your fam­ily uses opi­oids for pain man­age­ment, con­sider adding NAR­CAN to your emer­gency kit on the off chance you might need it to re­verse an ac­ci­den­tal over­dose. For more in­for­ma­tion, speak to a phar­ma­cist.

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