What is Naloxone?
Naloxone is a medication that reverses the effects of a prescription painkiller or heroin overdose. It quickly restores respiration to someone who is no longer breathing or has a slow breath.
How is Naloxone Given?
There are three FDA-approved forms of Naloxone: Injectable, Auto-Injectable, and Prepackaged nasal spray.
Injectable (professional training required)
The first form of Naloxone is an injectable and requires professional training. Persons such as paramedics, emergency room doctors, etc. administrate the liquid medication to the patient.
Envizo is a prescription treatment that can be used by family members, or emergency personnel to quickly inject naloxone into the outer thigh to someone who is overdosing.
Prepackaged Nasal Spray
Narcan is a nasal spray that is sprayed into one nostril of a person overdosing.
Note: Both Narcan and Evzio are packaged in a carton containing two doses to allow for repeat dosing if needed.
What precautions are needed when giving naloxone?
Once someone is given naloxone they should be observed until emergency care arrive. Once they arrive to a hospital the patient should be observed by a medial personnel for at least two hours after the last dose of naloxone was given to make sure they don’t stop breathing.
What are the side effects of naloxone?
Naloxone doesn’t always have side effects, but it can cause withdrawal symptoms in some people. Withdrawal symptoms include:
- feeling nervous, restless, or irritable;
- body aches;
- dizziness, weakness;
- diarrhea, stomach pain, mild nausea;
- fever, chills, goosebumps; or
sneezing, runny nose.
How much does naloxone cost?
The cost of naloxone can vary on whether you have insurance or not. Patients with insurance can check with their insurance companies to see how much their co-pay would be for either Evzio or Narcan Nasal Spray. If patients do not have insurance – you could check retail costs at local pharmacies.
Where can I get naloxone?
Naloxone can bought from your local pharmacies without a prescription from your physician. Doña Ana County’s Health and Human Services has also been distributing narcan through a grant to local law enforcement and people who attend narcan trainings.
If you’d like to find Narcan by you, visit Dose of Reality’s Naloxone finder!