Prescription and non-prescription opioid abuse has risen to epidemic proportions. Statistics from the CDC are staggering. Deaths from opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 1999 with over 165,000 fatalities. Every day in the U.S., 44 people die of prescription opioid overdose and over 7,000 are treated in ER’s across the country. Over 2 million people in the U.S. are currently addicted to prescription opioids. The data for non-prescription/illicit opioids is even worse. As more patients either “progress” or switch from prescription opioids to heroin or fentanyl the number of overdose deaths has exploded.
Between 2010 and 2016, the rate of heroin-related overdose deaths increased by a factor of 5 with more than 15,469 fatal overdoses in 2016. Prescribers are now strongly encouraged to prescribe naloxone (Narcan) to patients on high dose prescription opioids or known illicit opioid users. One challenge to first responders and family members is how to use Narcan. Some pharmacies can build “naloxone kits” or providers can prescribe brand name Narcan nasal spray by Adapt Pharma which in my region of the country costs approximately $135. There are many local and state programs available to help patients get Narcan if they cannot afford it.
To further help providers, it is worth mentioning here again some of the outstanding apps available for opioid prescribing. We strongly recommend providers download the outstanding CDC Opioid Prescribing Guideline app. The guideline is comprehensive and a must-read for anyone who prescribes opioids. The CDC app also contains a morphine equivalency calculator, glossary and an entire section on how to perform motivational interviewing with pain patients. Some of the best opioid conversion apps we have found are Opioid Calculator, Safe Opioids, and pH-Medical Opioid Converter, which included links to the CDC guideline.
The Adapt Pharma, NARCAN Now app brings detailed drug dosing information, a GPS based Narcan finder guide, an easy to follow pictorial dosing guide, and a comprehensive video for proper use of Narcan Nasal Spray.
The information in the app comes mostly from Adapt Pharma’s prescribing information for Narcan Nasal Spray. The app also contains some FDA specific information and links to FDA and CDC information on opioids and Narcan use.
Who would benefit from this App?
Any medical provider who prescribes opioids and Narcan, any patient who receives a prescription for Narcan especially those on 90mg morphine equivalent opioid doses or who use illicit narcotics such as heroin.
Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.
- Easy to navigate with detailed information on Narcan and how/when to use it.
- Includes pictorial guide, video for proper use, location based finder for prescriptions.
- Available for Android.
- Text sections of the app could be simplified/shortened.
- Video not downloaded with app and requires internet/cellular connection.
- Funded/created by pharmaceutical company.
NARCAN Now is an essential app for every patient and family member of patients who receive Narcan prescriptions for high dose prescription opioids or known narcotic use (heroin for example). The app’s easy to use interface will quickly guide family members and first responders to properly administer Narcan. This is an app that despite its Big Pharma parent can and will save lives in the opioid epidemic.
- Overall Score
- User Interface
Well laid out app with sections for written materials, locator for obtaining Narcan, detailed pictorial guide for administration, and video as well. Perhaps a bit text heavy.
- Multimedia Usage
App includes detailed pictorial descriptions of proper Narcan dosing. It also includes a well-made video demo of how to properly administer Narcan. Unfortunately, the video requires an internet/cellular connection.
App is free.
- Real World Applicability
NARCAN Now unfortunately has very real world applicability. With no end in sight for our current prescription and illegal opioid epidemic, Narcan truly is a life-saving medication. The app NARCAN Now puts life-saving information in the hands of all smart device users. Recommended app to be prescribed to your patients with every actual prescription of Naracon.
- Device Used For Review
iPhone 8 running iOS 11.4
- Available for DownloadAndroidiPhoneiPad