By co-dispensing NARCAN® Nasal Spray with opioid prescriptions, you are helping to make a positive impact on the opioid crisis in Canada.

References: 1. Antoniou T, Pritlove C, Shearer D, et al. A qualitative study of a publicly funded pharmacy-dispensed naloxone program. International Journal of Drug Policy. 2021;92:103146. 2. Tsuyuki R et al. Canadian national consensus guidelines for naloxone prescribing by pharmacists. Canadian Pharmacists Journal. 2020;153(6):347-351. 3. Ontario Pharmacists Association. Pharmacist clinical tool for initiating naloxone discussions. Available at: in a new window). Accessed July 27, 2021. 4. NARCAN® Nasal Spray Product Monograph. Emergent BioSolutions Canada Ltd. March 5, 2021.

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As pharmacists, you are in a position to help, and small actions may lead to progress over time.

Make dispensing NARCAN® Nasal Spray a second nature habit
Making NARCAN® Nasal Spray a regular part of your practice is a team effort! You have the power to help prepare patients in case of an accidental opioid poisoning. Think of take-home naloxone kits as a powerful tool in your toolbox, and explain to patients that it’s analogous to any other emergency device or technique.1

Tips to help you start the conversation
Once you have ordered and prepared the NARCAN® Nasal Spray kits as a team, think about how you might counsel and talk to your patients about NARCAN® Nasal Spray. As pharmacists, educating and counselling your patients is already second nature. However, it is normal to be uncertain about broaching the subject of a potential accidental opioid overdose and NARCAN® Nasal Spray with your patients. You are already counselling your patients who are filling an opioid prescription on potential risks, just think of co-dispensing NARCAN® Nasal Spray as an extension of the conversation.

Here are some tips to help you with your discussions:1-4

  • Determine what you want to say to your patients about NARCAN® Nasal Spray and rehearse it ahead of time. Consider when might be the best time to bring it up and how it is best aligned with your pharmacy workflow (e.g., prescription drop-off vs. pick-up).
  • Avoid using judgement-laden language like “addiction” and use metaphors to help normalize naloxone use. Consider using the terminology “accidental opioid poisoning” instead of “overdose” as patients may find this verbiage less intimidating. Pay attention to your body language as well, make sure you’re not coming through as judgmental.
  • Frame naloxone as a standard accompaniment to any opioid prescription. Say it with confidence.
  • Reiterate that it’s a precaution, for “just in case”. NARCAN® Nasal Spray can be used by a colleague, a friend, or any other bystander. It is useful for patients to have it on hand at home, in their gym bag, or purse as it cannot be administered by the person experiencing an overdose.