I have been hearing a lot about a new medication, Edaravone, being used to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). What is Edaravone and can it be administered by an LPN?

Edaravone is a medication used to slow symptom progression for clients with ALS. Edaravone is not currently approved for use in Canada. It is approved for use in other countries such as the United States, Japan and Korea.

By law, medications not listed on Health Canada’s Prescription Drug List or the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act can be imported into Canada for personal use.  Though clients cannot obtain Edaravone in Nova Scotia, they can legally import it under the Food and Drugs Act. Once the client has obtained the medication, there are no barriers in federal legislation for the administration of such medications.

LPNs are currently not authorized to administer Edaravone in any context. They are however, authorized to care for the client receiving the medication as long as they possess the necessary knowledge, skill and judgment to do so.  RNs may administer Edaravone as long as they have the required medication competencies and comply with the Standards of Practice for RNs.

Still have a question? Email a practice consultant at practiceconsultant@clpnns.ca.