Thursday, November 24, 2011
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Wallisch M, El Rody NM, Huang B, Koop DR, Baker JR Jr, Olsen GD.
Respir Physiol Neurobiol. 2011 Oct 19.
Comment: I don't usually include animal studies, but this was intriguing. Authors developed a depot pro-drug of naloxone that is released in the setting of hypoxemia - that is, when there's a low-level of oxygen in the blood naloxone is released, reversing the (presumed) opiate effect.
Paulozzi LJ, Kilbourne EM, Shah NG, Nolte KB, Desai HA, Landen MG, Harvey W, Loring LD.
Pain Med. 2011 Oct 25. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4637.2011.01260.x.
Comment: Our understanding of opioid analgesic deaths is so poor for many reasons - most notably it is hard to study this population because they are hidden. The authors here used a case-control design (I can't access the full article and their methods are not so well-described in the abstract) to identify risk factors for death. They found receipt of prescriptions for selected opioids and >40mg morphine equivalents daily to be substantial risk factors for overdose death. This is consistent with earlier studies.
Monday, November 7, 2011
|A Toronto overdose kit|
Good news from the great city of Toronto, where the city launched an overdose education and naloxone distribution program in October. Here's the full story from the CBC. As Toronto harm reduction pioneer Raffi Balian says in the article, "to have this product, which can reverse an overdose right away, is an amazing thing. I know it works because I have brought people back from overdoses at least three times and one person twice."
A couple things stuck out from the article though. First, have a look at the photo, which appears to show the contents of kits distributed by the city. The instructions on the pocket card are a little questionable, including direction to do chest compressions and no mention of airway management or rescue breathing. Second, the article has Shaun Hopkins, a Toronto needle exchange manager, saying that naloxone costs the city $8 a dose. Producers have been jacking up prices far and wide over the past couple years, but is Toronto getting ripped off? Comments and clarification from OPA's Toronto readers will be very welcome.