Range of options for intranasal treatment expanding

The use of intranasal medication may be a more effective way to treat patients in emergency room settings.
By Amy Wallace  |  April 4, 2017 at 4:10 PM
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April 4 (UPI) -- New research by the American College of Emergency Physicians highlights the expanded availability and use of intranasal medication as an effective option in emergencies.

Often when patients are brought into the emergency room it is under extreme stress and in traumatic circumstances. Doctors struggle sometimes to give medicine to certain patient, such as young children, combative or seizure patients.

"For patients who are combative or having seizures, intranasal administration of certain medications can be really helpful," Megan Rech, a pharmacist at Loyola University Medical Center, said in a press release. "These formulations can be especially useful for children, as they are not as painful and frightening as using intravenous or intramuscular routes. This route can also be an effective option for treating opioid overdoses."

Intranasal medications, delivered by an atomizer, offer direct drug transport into the central nervous system in a fast, easy, painless transmission of medication without the need for invasive routes of administration in patients without intravenous access and where intravenous access would be time intensive.

The study examined the prevalence and safety of intranasal medications based on several small studies.

Medications administered intranasally via an atomizer include midazolam, fentanyl, naloxone, ketamine and dexmedetomidine.

"Administering medications intranasally in the pre-hospital or emergency setting can be easy, fast and non-invasive," Rech said. "It is a welcome option for emergency physicians treating a wide variety of patients, sometimes in difficult situations."

The study was published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

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