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Naloxone: changes related to emergency use for opioid overdose

posted April 10, 2017
updated May 9, 2017

The CRNBC Board at its April 7, 2017 meeting approved removal of limits and conditions and changes to the Dispensing Medications practice standard related to naloxone for emergency use for opioid overdose.

While the CRNBC limits and conditions related to naloxone have been removed, nurses are reminded that they must follow the Dispensing Medications practice standard.

Dispensing to an individual who is not your client

In the event that an RN is dispensing naloxone to someone who is not their client, they are required to take steps to ensure public safety by teaching these individuals to respond appropriately to persons experiencing a suspected opioid overdose. Nurses follow all applicable organizational policies and procedures regarding naloxone.


These changes are  in response to changes made in early 2017 to provincial and federal regulations to fully de-schedule naloxone for emergency use to treat a suspected opioid overdose in any setting. The drug is now accessible by the public directly (i.e., without practitioner or pharmacist intervention).

Naloxone is no longer a Schedule I drug and is not restricted under the restricted activities framework of the Health Professions Act when used for  emergency treatment  of opioid overdose.

These changes come into effect May 10, 2017.

Please email if you have questions.

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