Manitoba is the first jurisdiction in Canada to permit paramedics to use the powerful antipsychotic Olanzapine on patients who have taken methamphetamine and are at risk of suffering psychosis.
“Paramedics have seen first-hand how a person’s behaviour can quickly change when they’re using meth,” said Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen. “By granting paramedics the ability to administer Olanzapine, we are giving them another tool to protect their patients, themselves and others.”
The new drug will be available to paramedics across the province effective December 1, 2018, and is used to reduce a patient’s agitation and their risk of harming themselves and others.
With rising concern around methamphetamine use and its associated psychosis and aggression, we are facing a time where critical action is required
The drug will be provided orally in tablet form to patients who have consented and after consultation with a paramedic supervisor.
Currently, Australia also uses the drug with their emergency medical services.
“We are pleased to see that paramedics across the province will be able to administer Olanzapine in cases of known or suspected methamphetamine use,” said Brent Bekiaris, chair of the Paramedic Association of Manitoba. “These patients can quickly develop paranoia and exhibit violent behaviour even while being assessed, so additional treatment options are needed.”
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