Nursing: Naloxone: Understanding its Use and Effects

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About the Course

All health care professionals (HCP) have a responsibility to understand the current opioid crisis and how they can contribute to countering this threat. All HCP who come into contact with patients have the potential to encounter individuals in danger of narcotic abuse. Awareness will facilitate an appropriate intervention. Those who may be more directly involved such as pharmacists, first responders, and emergency department personnel should consider more in-depth training. A thorough understanding of opioids, their misuse, and potential solutions to this public health issue will greatly contribute to improved patient health and quality of life.

Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of this course, the learner should be able to:
  • Discuss the risk-benefit relationship related to the use of opioids to treat chronic pain.  
  • Compare the potency of select narcotics in controlling pain.  
  • State the most common reason cited for misusing prescription opioid products.  
  • Provide a hypothesis for why the inappropriate use of prescription medications can lead to the illicit use of opioids.  
  • Discuss three practices that prescribers can follow to optimally treat patients for chronic pain.  
  • Characterize the key sign of opioid overdose.  
  • State the main safety concern associated with the use of naloxone as an antidote for opioid overdose.  
  • Name one positive outcome conclusively associated with increasing the availability of naloxone.

About the Author: 
Bradley Gillespie, PharmD

Bradley Gillespie, PharmD, trained as a clinical pharmacist and has practiced in an industrial setting for the past 25+ years. His initial role was as a clinical pharmacology and biopharmaceutics reviewer at U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), followed by 20 years of leading early development programs in the pharma/biotech/nutritional industries. In addition to his industrial focus, he remains a registered pharmacist and enjoys mentoring drug development scientists and health professionals, leading workshops, and developing continuing education programs for pharmacy, nursing, and other medical professionals.

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