These findings were not surprising to Jeffrey Fudin, PharmD, DAAPM, FCCP, FASHP, founder and chairman of Professionals for Rational Opioid Monitoring & Pharmacotherapy, an advocacy group in favor of safe opioid prescribing.
"Pharmacists could and should play an important role in monitoring this risk because their hands and eyes are the last stop before dispensing these combinations," Dr. Fudin
told Pharmacy Times
"At the very least, pharmacists could advocate for in-home naloxone use and participate in training for the patients and their caregivers."
added that pharmacists could also make an effort to identify the signs and symptoms of depression in a way that is comforting to the patient, yet informative about the risks.
noted that patients with chronic lower back pain could experience depression or anxiety in response to lost time from work and the inability to do simple life activities.
"These things alone are problematic, but when coupled with anxiety, fear, opioids, benzodiazepines, and antidepressants, it is a clear recipe for disaster," Dr. Fudin