Clinical Trial Shows Safety of a Novel Nasal Swab for Treatment of Opioid Overdose

April 3, 2024

Nasal Swab for Treatment of Opioid OverdoseResearchers in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston have conducted a successful safety study of a novel bystander-administered device for the delivery of a potent opioid reversal agent. The PN Naloxone Nasal Swab by Pocket Naloxone Corporation is intended for use by nonmedical personnel for the emergency treatment of opioid overdose.

“The study results showed that untrained personnel could place the nasal swab without damaging the nasal passages,” says Martin J. Citardi, MD, professor and chair of the department and vice dean for clinical technology at the medical school. “In light of the opioid crisis, we expect this proof of safety to help expand access to a lifesaving overdose-reversal medication in real-world emergency situations.”

Patients with normal or abnormal nasal structure were recruited for the study; an untrained individual placed a swab soaked in dilute fluorescein dye on each side of the patient’s nose. An independent reviewer examined each endoscopy video, rating the degree of fluorescein staining and any mucosal trauma. Only seven of 32 nasal cavities studied had minor bleeding, which stopped in one to two minutes.

Results of the study were presented by David Allen, MD, postgraduate year 4 otolaryngology resident, at the 2023 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery annual meeting held in Nashville, Tennessee.

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