PA Physician General expands Naloxone standing order to combat Opioid overdose deaths

Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson has expanded the naloxone standing order to include a form of eight milligram (mg) naloxone nasal spray. Members of the general public can print a copy of the standing order and present it at their local pharmacy to obtain life-saving naloxone.

“Naloxone saves lives,” Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson said. “Naloxone is an essential tool in the commonwealth’s approach to address the opioid crisis. We continue to ensure residents have access to the life-saving tool along with resources to learn how to administer it.”

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Naloxone is a medication approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to rapidly reverse an opioid overdose by quickly restoring breathing to a person if their breathing has slowed or stopped because of an opioid overdose. Naloxone can be administered by individuals with or without medical training to help reduce opioid overdose deaths.

“You never know when you may come across an individual experiencing an overdose. There are numerous ways that Pennsylvanians can access life-saving naloxone and we encourage everyone to take advantage of those resources,” said DDAP Secretary Jen Smith. “With this new product we’re giving Pennsylvanians an additional tool in the toolbox for combatting the increase in fentanyl across the commonwealth.”

Last year, the FDA approved the higher dosage of naloxone nasal spray to reverse an opioid overdose. The FDA had previously approved two mg and four mg naloxone nasal spray products.

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Since 2014, previous Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine and current Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson, signed standing orders allowing members of the general public and first responders to obtain naloxone from their local pharmacy.

More recently, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency partnered with Prevention Point Pittsburgh and NEXT Distro to support a statewide mail-based naloxone program for individuals to request medication for personal use.

The Department of Health recently revised Pennsylvania’s naloxone training video, available through Train PA, to include updated overdose death statistics and information on administering naloxone. To watch the training, you must create an account through Train PA.

Learn more about the Wolf Administration’s efforts in combatting the overdose crisis

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