23 this month.
1) Are take-home naloxone programmes effective? Systematic review utilizing application of the Bradford Hill criteria.
McDonald R, Strang J.
Addiction. 2016 Mar 30. doi: 10.1111/add.13326. [Epub ahead of print] Review.
Comments: Take-home naloxone meets all Bradford Hill criteria for causality in reducing opioid overdose mortality. Incidence of fatality among overdoses in the setting of take-home naloxone was 0.8%.
Loreck D, Brandt NJ, DiPaula B.
J Gerontol Nurs. 2016 Apr 1;42(4):10-5. doi: 10.3928/00989134-20160314-04.
Comments: A review of the U.S. situation and treatments for opioid use disorder.
3) Years of potential life lost amongst heroin users in the Australian Treatment Outcome Study cohort, 2001-2015.
Darke S, Marel C, Mills KL, Ross J, Slade T, Tessson M.
Drug Alcohol Depend. 2016 May 1;162:206-10. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2016.03.010. Epub 2016 Mar 18.
Comments: Heroin use is associated with 25-50 years of life lost. Over half of deaths and nearly two-thirds of years of life lost were due to opioid overdose.
4) Risk factors for unnatural death: Fatal accidental intoxication, undetermined intent and suicide: Register follow-up in a criminal justice population with substance use problems.
Olsson MO, Bradvik L, Öjehagen A, Hakansson A.
Drug Alcohol Depend. 2016 May 1;162:176-81. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2016.03.009. Epub 2016 Mar 17.
Comments: Accidental overdose death and suicide are distinct entities, with distinct predictive variables. This is important.
Saucier CD, Zaller N, Macmadu A, Green TC.
Drug Alcohol Depend. 2016 May 1;162:211-8. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2016.03.011. Epub 2016 Mar 19.
Comments: Harm reduction programs training law enforcement, a critical step forward.
Levine M, Sanko S, Eckstein M.
Prehosp Emerg Care. 2016 Mar 28:1-4. [Epub ahead of print]
Comments: Studies of pre-hospital naloxone without transport to the hospital have uniformly shown extremely low rates of re-overdose or death in the ensuing 24 hours. This study examined 205 people over a much longer period and identified 3 deaths in the subsequent month. Again, this supports the relative safety of naloxone management and yet emphasizes the high risk of mortality in this population.
Lott DC, Rhodes J.
Am J Addict. 2016 Apr;25(3):221-6. doi: 10.1111/ajad.12364. Epub 2016 Mar 22.
Comments: Education is excellent, but providing the medication on-site is critical.
Kitch BB, Portela RC.
Prehosp Emerg Care. 2016 Mar-Apr;20(2):226-9. doi: 10.3109/10903127.2015.1076097.
Comments: Police administering naloxone in the setting of fentanyl overdoses.
Burns G, DeRienz RT, Baker DD, Casavant M, Spiller HA.
Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2016 Mar 21:1-4. [Epub ahead of print]
Comments: Fascinating article! Many of us have wondered why fentanyl is such an extreme problem when used illicitly. This paper describes the phenomenon of chest wall rigidity with rapid IV administration of fentanyl, a possible explanation for the high risk of death in the setting of increased illicit fentanyl availability.
Riley ED, Evans JL, Hahn JA, Briceno A, Davidson PJ, Lum PJ, Page K.
Am J Public Health. 2016 May;106(5):915-7. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2016.303084. Epub 2016 Mar 17.
Comments: Increased use is associated with increased overdose. This has been a persistent finding, potentially in conflict with the findings that periods of abstinence are associated with overdose. That is to say, even though low tolerance is a risk for overdose, it seems that more regular rather than more sporadic use increases overdose risk. Prevention messaging on this topic remains challenging.
Frieden TR, Houry D.
N Engl J Med. 2016 Mar 15. [Epub ahead of print]
Comments: An editorial on the new CDC guidelines described below.
Dowell D, Haegerich TM, Chou R.
JAMA. 2016 Mar 15. doi: 10.1001/jama.2016.1464. [Epub ahead of print]
Comments: New guidelines for opioid prescribing that emphasize reliance upon other therapies first and limited doses of opioids. They do recommend use of opioid agonist treatments for patients with co-morbid chronic pain and opioid use disorder, such as buprenorphine which can be prescribed by general practitioners in the U.S., and co-prescription of naloxone to patients on higher doses (>50 morphine equivalent milligrams) or other risk factors.
McAuley A, Munro A, Bird SM, Hutchinson SJ, Goldberg DJ, Taylor A.
Drug Alcohol Depend. 2016 May 1;162:236-40. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2016.02.031. Epub 2016 Mar 3.
Comments: Increased utilization but reduced likelihood of participants actually carrying naloxone on their person.
J Addict Nurs. 2016 Jan-Mar;27(1):7-11. doi: 10.1097/JAN.0000000000000106.
Comments: Training nursing students in opioid overdose management.
Nielsen S, Van Hout MC.
Int J Drug Policy. 2016 Feb 15. pii: S0955-3959(16)30014-7. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2016.02.006. [Epub ahead of print]
Comments: There’s some information out there but much more needed.
The next series of articles are all related to the lead author's thesis that nasal naloxone is problematic; the final 5 being responses to the lead author’s recent article in Addiction critiquing nasal naloxone. Dr Strang has been a longtime advocate of naloxone, but not nasally administered. It’s important to note, as can be seen in the disclosures of his papers, that he/his employer hold a patent for buccal naloxone (#17 & 18). I’ll withhold any further comments.
16) Naloxone without the needle - systematic review of candidate routes for non-injectable naloxone for opioid overdose reversal.
Strang J, McDonald R, Alqurshi A, Royall P, Taylor D, Forbes B.
Drug Alcohol Depend. 2016 Mar 9. pii: S0376-8716(16)00141-1. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2016.02.042. [Epub ahead of print] Review.
17) Amorphous Formulation and in Vitro Performance Testing of Instantly Disintegrating Buccal Tablets for the Emergency Delivery of Naloxone.
Alqurshi A, Kumar Z, McDonald R, Strang J, Buanz A, Ahmed S, Allen E, Cameron P, Rickard JA, Sandhu V, Holt C, Stansfield R, Taylor D, Forbes B, Royall PG.
Mol Pharm. 2016 Mar 28. [Epub ahead of print]
18) New approved nasal naloxone welcome, but unlicensed improvised naloxone spray kits remain a concern: proper scientific study must accompany innovation.
Strang J, Mcdonald R.
Addiction. 2016 Apr;111(4):590-2. doi: 10.1111/add.13319. No abstract available.
Balster RL, Walsh SL.
Addiction. 2016 Apr;111(4):589-90. doi: 10.1111/add.13274. No abstract available.
Addiction. 2016 Apr;111(4):587-9. doi: 10.1111/add.13267. No abstract available.
21) Radical red tape reduction by government supported nasal naloxone: the Norwegian pilot project is innovative, safe and an important contribution to further development and dissemination of take-home naloxone.
Lobmaier PP, Clausen T.
Addiction. 2016 Apr;111(4):586-7. doi: 10.1111/add.13261. No abstract available.
22) Intranasal naloxone soon to become part of evolving clinical practice around opioid overdose prevention.
Dietze P, Cantwell K.
Addiction. 2016 Apr;111(4):584-6. doi: 10.1111/add.13260. No abstract available.
Addiction. 2016 Apr;111(4):583-4. doi: 10.1111/add.13255. No abstract available.