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A Med & Mic™ EXTRA!

The Med & Mic™ 04.12.22 A Med & Mic™ EXTRA!

How busy doctors keep up on the medical news of the day – and get $1 CME!*

MED NEWS blog post from Dr. Maria ON Speaking, LLC


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Shortages of Antidote Pose a Risk to People Taking Opioids

Bowie, Maryland pain specialist Dr. Sarah Merritt says she prescribes naloxone, or Narcan, for all of her patients who take opioid medication.

“Frankly, it’s a safety precaution.”

This medication can be given as a shot or into the nose. It bumps opioids from their receptors, like knocking ice cream out of a cone. This can be lifesaving in an overdose – either intentional or accidental.

Most of Dr. Merritt’s patients at Lifestream Health Center are willing to go along with the plan to have the medication on hand, as long as she brings it up as a “just in case” measure. Otherwise, people can get defensive. “They’re going to say something like, well, I don’t need that, I only take my medication as prescribed, that couldn’t happen.”

The medication could make a difference between life and death.

“It’s important to make sure that naloxone is widely available. There is a movement to make this medication over-the-counter, and that’s not occurred universally yet,” Dr. Merritt says, “In Maryland, a pharmacist can write an order. It’s really about saving lives.”

While she hasn’t had any patients run into trouble filling a prescription, other parts of the country have been experiencing shortages and high prices.

“We’re hopeful we won’t have to experience that.”

She says the medication is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance.

“I think my biggest worry would be to write a prescription, to have a patient not be able to get it at the pharmacy,” she says about the high-stakes shortage, “It could be a missed opportunity to save a life.”

Dr. Maria | Dr. Maria ON Speaking, LLC

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Remember: this post is for informational purposes only and may not be the best fit for you and your personal situation. It shall not be construed as medical advice. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional medical treatment, advice, and/or diagnosis, or the advice of your own physician. Always check with your own physician or medical professional before trying or implementing any information read here.

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