A content review of online naloxone Continuing Education courses for pharmacists in states with standing orders

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Many community pharmacists are uncomfortable educating patients about naloxone, an opioid reversal agent.


To examine whether training materials prepare pharmacists to counsel patients and caregivers about naloxone, online naloxone education materials for pharmacists in the 13 states with standing orders were analyzed.


Two coders reviewed 12 naloxone training programs and extracted data for 15 topics that were clustered in four categories: background/importance, naloxone products, business/operations, and communication. Programs that included communication content were coded for whether they: 1) suggested specific verbiage for naloxone counseling; 2) recommended evidence-based communication practices; and 3) included example naloxone conversations.


Most programs covered the majority of topics, with the exception of extended treatment for individuals who overdose and naloxone storage/expiration information. Eleven programs addressed pharmacist-patient communication, although information on communication was often limited. Only one program included an example pharmacist-patient naloxone conversation, but the conversation was 10 min long and occurred in a private room, limiting its applicability to most community pharmacies.


Online naloxone training materials for pharmacists include limited content on how to communicate with patients and caregivers. Training materials that include more in-depth content on communication may increase pharmacists' confidence to discuss the topics of overdose and naloxone.

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