One such treatment that has gained significant attention in recent years is Narcan, a brand name for naloxone, a medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. This month, a Narcan FDA approval has made it available for over-the-counter (OTC) use, in an effort to make it more widely available to those who may need it. In this article, Banyan Treatment Centers will explore what Narcan is, how it works, and how its OTC approval can empower communities in the fight against the opioid epidemic.
Narcan is a brand name for naloxone, a medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Naloxone works by binding to the same receptors in the brain that opioids bind to, effectively blocking the opioids and reversing their effects. Narcan is most commonly administered as a nasal spray, though it can also be given via injection. Naloxone is not an opioid and is not addictive, making it a safe and effective treatment option for opioid overdoses.
According to the CDC, over 100,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2021, with opioids being most of those deaths.1 Naloxone has been shown to be highly effective in reversing opioid overdoses, making it a crucial tool in the fight against the opioid epidemic. By quickly reversing the effects of an overdose, naloxone can prevent death and give individuals a second chance at recovery.
This month, the FDA officially approved Narcan nasal spray for OTC use.2 This means that individuals can soon purchase Narcan without a prescription from a healthcare provider. This decision was made in response to the growing need for naloxone in communities across the country. By making Narcan more widely available, the FDA hopes to increase access to this life-saving medication and reduce the number of opioid-related deaths.
Narcan is used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. It can be administered by anyone, regardless of their medical training, making it a valuable tool for first responders, family members, and friends of individuals who use opioids. Narcan is a fast-acting medication, with effects typically taking place within minutes of administration. It is also relatively safe, with few reported side effects. Narcan can give individuals a second chance at recovery and is a crucial tool in reducing opioid-related deaths.
Naloxone nasal spray is also easy to administer and does not require any medical training. The basic steps for using naloxone nasal spray are similar to those for Narcan:
As with Narcan, it is important to call 911 and seek medical attention immediately after administering naloxone.
Since the FDA's approval of Narcan nasal spray for OTC use, it can soon be purchased at most major pharmacies, including Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid. Narcan nasal spray may also be available for purchase soon at grocery stores, gas stations, convenience stores, and even online. The nasal spray will come in a package of two 4mg doses in case the person overdosing does not respond to the first dose. The drug's maker, Emergent BioSolutions says the nasal spray will be available in stores and online by late Summer. They have not disclosed what the cost will be.
The Narcan FDA approval is a significant step forward in the fight against the opioid epidemic. By making this life-saving medication more widely available, communities can take an active role in preventing opioid-related deaths. Through education and training, individuals can learn how to effectively respond to overdoses and save lives. With the help of Narcan and naloxone, we can work together to reduce the devastating impact of the opioid epidemic on our communities.
For those who are ready to begin their own recovery from opioids, or with a loved one in such a situation, most Banyan locations offer options for addiction treatment, particularly from these infamous substances. Additionally, patients can access opioid detox programs at many of our addiction facilities.
How Narcan Works
Naloxone: The Investment You Need to Make Today