Intentional opioid abuse has been a hot topic in the United States for years, but what about unintentional ingestion? According to Dr. George Sam Wang, a pediatric emergency doctor at Children’s Hospital Colorado, “Unintentional pharmaceutical exposures in kids are a continuing problem, representing about half of calls to poison control centers.” According to a recent HealthDay article, Wang’s new study demonstrates the solution to accidental overdosing in kids lies in the packaging.
The study, published May 3 in Pediatrics, examined poison control calls related to accidental ingestions of buprenorphine-naloxone, a common narcotic pain reliever. The team looked at three specific time periods: before the introduction of single-dose packaging, during the time pharmaceutical companies were converting to single-dose packaging, and after single-dose packaging was widely available. Results found single-dose packaging prompted a 79% decrease in the number of unintentional ingestion of buprenorphine.