Icelandic App To Help People Quit Opiates Getting International Attention Skip to content

Icelandic App To Help People Quit Opiates Getting International Attention

By Andie Sophia Fontaine

Photo: Screenshot/

A new Icelandic app, created with the help of doctors and designed to help those prescribed addictive substances such as opiates ween themselves off of them safely, is starting to gain traction abroad, RÚV reports.

Simple but crucial

The app in question, Prescriby, is available in both Icelandic and English, and its implementation is fairly straightforward. By entering the name of the drug in question, the number of weeks it is to be taken, and how many doses per day the app calculates a scheduling of dosages for the patient.

This is critically important, as some medications, like opiates, can cause physical addiction in as little as 30 days of daily use. Sudden cessation can cause withdrawal symptoms, which can lead to relapses or, in the case of long term use, withdrawal can be fatal if not managed correctly.

“Prescriby takes a proactive approach to addictive medication management which is essential to realizing better outcomes for patients and the health care system,” the app’s creators state on their site. “Our program is an adaptive model, combining best practices with clinically validated software that integrates with clinical workflow.”

International traction

The app has been in use at the pharmacy Reykjanesapótek for some time now, and has reportedly been serving patients well. It will also be put into practice in Canada next week, and then in Denmark later in the year.

Kjartan Þórsson, creator of Prescriby and himself a doctor, emphasised the necessity of the app to reporters.

“Most people that I speak with have some kind of story, either about a relative or themselves, who have been sent home with a hundred Contalgin [morphine] tablets, or what have you,” he said. “And there’s no plan in place. We’re letting people get some of the most addictive substances in the world and we don’t even have a plan. So we’re trying to change that.”

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