An­other prov­ince lifts re­stric­tions on nalox­one

Edmonton Journal - - CITY -

Saskatchewan is fol­low­ing the lead of B.C. and Alberta by be­com­ing the third prov­ince in Canada to un­sched­ule the life-sav­ing med­i­ca­tion nalox­one.

Nalox­one, which re­verses the ef­fects of an opi­oid over­dose, will be more widely avail­able in Saskatchewan now after a by­law change made by Saskatchewan’s Col­lege of Phar­macy Pro­fes­sion­als.

Nalox­one was pre­vi­ously listed as a Sched­ule II Drug, mean­ing that it was only avail­able from a phar­ma­cist. It was kept be­hind the counter to en­sure phar­ma­cists pro­vided in­di­vid­u­als with train­ing on how to ad­min­is­ter the drug be­fore pur­chas­ing a kit.

The change now al­lows nalox­one to be is­sued with­out the in­volve­ment of a phar­ma­cist and in lo­ca­tions other than phar­ma­cies, mak­ing it eas­ier for in­di­vid­u­als to ac­cess take­home nalox­one (THN) kits and for com­mu­nity-based or­ga­ni­za­tions (CBOs) who work with in­di­vid­u­als at risk of an opi­oid over­dose to dis­trib­ute kits to their clients.

“We want to en­sure nalox­one is avail­able where and when it is needed with­out bar­ri­ers,” Health Min­is­ter Jim Reiter said in a news re­lease. “This change al­lows our CBOs to play a key role in get­ting THN kits into the hands of in­di­vid­u­als at risk.”

The Min­istry of Health and the Saskatchewan Health Au­thor­ity will work with key CBOs to pro­vide THN kits in the com­ing weeks.

It is im­por­tant to note that even after nalox­one is ad­min­is­tered, fur­ther med­i­cal treat­ment is re­quired. Call 9-1-1 im­me­di­ately if an over­dose is sus­pected.


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