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How Long Does Narcan Last?

How to Use Narcan

Navigating the administration of Narcan, or naloxone, is a critical skill with the potential to be a lifeline in the face of opioid overdose. As a medication designed to rapidly reverse the effects of opioid toxicity, Narcan is available in various forms, including intramuscular injection, intranasal spray, and auto-injector devices. But exactly how long does Narcan last?

An equally important aspect of Narcan's efficacy is understanding how long its effects last in the system. While the method of administration may differ based on the specific formulation, the overarching goal remains constant. That is, to swiftly and effectively counteract the life-threatening consequences of opioid overdose.

Banyan Treatment Centers Heartland not only outlines the steps to recognize opioid overdose symptoms, ensure safety during the intervention, and provide clear instructions for administering Narcan but also delves into the duration of Narcan's presence in the body.

How to Administer Narcan

One vital skill that can save lives in the event of an opioid overdose is administering Narcan, also known as naloxone. Usually, this drug is offered in a variety of dosage forms, such as auto-injector devices, intranasal sprays, and intramuscular injections. Depending on the exact formulation of Narcan, the administration technique may change, but the overall idea of quick and efficient action to counteract the symptoms of opioid poisoning never changes.

Steps for administering Narcan include:

  • Recognize signs of opioid overdose: Identify symptoms like slowed or stopped breathing, unconsciousness, and pinpoint pupils. Call emergency services immediately if an overdose is suspected.
  • Ensure safety: Assess surroundings for potential hazards before attempting to administer Narcan. If possible, have someone else present to assist with the situation.
  • Administering Narcan with an intramuscular injection: Locate a large muscle, such as the thigh or upper arm. Inject the full dose of Narcan into the muscle.
  • Administering Narcan through an intranasal spray: Insert the atomizer tip into one nostril and administer half of the dose. Repeat in the other nostril for the remaining half.
  • Administering Narcan by auto-injector: Follow the instructions provided with the auto-injector device. Administer the full dose by pressing the device against the outer thigh.

Remain with the person after giving them Narcan to observe how they react. More dosages can be required before the effects of Narcan begin to kick in. The drug only offers short-term relief; therefore, the person seeking treatment must seek emergency medical attention as soon as possible to guarantee full care. Medical care is also necessary to address the more general aspects of opioid overdose and to protect the person's well-being. Affected individuals may also be asking themselves the question, exactly how long does Narcan last?

How Long Does Narcan Stay in Your System?

Compared to the opioids Narcan replaces, the effects of Narcan on the body are transient. Since naloxone has a half-life of between 30 and 81 minutes, it takes this long for the body to get rid of half of the medication. But depending on several variables, including the person's metabolism, liver function, and general health, the full removal of Narcan from the body can take several hours. It's important to note that while Narcan acts quickly to reverse opioid effects, individuals who have been administered the medication should still seek medical attention, as the effects of opioids can outlast those of Narcan, and a recurrence of overdose symptoms may occur.

Repeated Narcan doses can be required in some circumstances, particularly if a strong and long-acting opioid is used. The length of time that Narcan has been available in the system emphasizes how crucial it is for people who have overdosed on opioids to seek out expert medical attention as soon as possible to guarantee continued monitoring and assistance. People who have received Narcan should also be informed that its effects subside somewhat quickly and that they may still be susceptible to issues associated with opioids, which would call for ongoing medical care and monitoring.

Leave Opioids Behind With Our Illinois Drug Rehab

In the battle against opioid overdose, timely intervention with Narcan is a crucial first step, but it's equally important to address the root causes of substance abuse. At Banyan’s Heartland Treatment Center, our dedicated team stands ready to guide individuals toward a life free from the grip of opioids. Our opioid rehab program not only prioritizes immediate response through interventions like Narcan administration but also provides the necessary support for long-term recovery. We can also offer relief to those struggling with withdrawal symptoms via our opioid detox treatment. Let us guide you down the path of recovery with the clinical and compassionate services that you deserve.

Call our Illinois rehabs at 888-280-4763 to learn more about the first steps to overcoming addiction to opioids.

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
How Long Does Narcan Last?
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