Paramedics Have New Tool To Deal With Meth Users

Manitoba Post StaffNews

MANITOBA – Paramedics will soon have a new tool to help them treat patients on Methamphetamine.

Olanzapine is an anti-psychotic medication that helps lessen the severity of symptoms such as agitation for meth users. Manitoba is the first jurisdiction in Canada to sanction the use of Olanzapine to paramedics. The medication is an oral disintegrating tablet that is administered to consenting patients.

The drug is already used in a variety of settings and the protocol is currently in use in Australia.

The new drug protocol, approved by the provincial Emergency Medical Services and Patient Transport Medical Advisory Committee, will come into effect in early December.

The decision to expand the use of Olanzapine was welcomed by the Paramedic Association of Manitoba, which represents all licensed pre-hospital practitioners in the province.

“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.”