The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is recommending that health care providers discuss the opioid overdose antidote naloxone with patients taking opioids, the Associated Press reports.
The FDA is requiring that these recommendations be added to the prescribing information for opioid pain medicines and medicines to treat opioid use disorder, including buprenorphine, methadone and naltrexone.
The new FDA guidelines advise doctors to tell patients that naloxone can be obtained from pharmacists without a prescription. Doctors should consider prescribing naloxone to patients with a higher risk of overdose, such as those with a history of opioid addiction or overdose, the FDA said.
Other patients considered at increased risk of opioid overdose include those who are also taking benzodiazepines or other medicines that depress the central nervous system.