What Is Narcan?
What does Narcan treat? Narcan, also known by its generic term naloxone, is a medication used to reverse the effects of opioid overdose. Opioids include heroin, fentanyl, morphine, oxycodone, and others. Narcan works by quickly binding to the opioid receptors in the brain, displacing any opioids present and temporarily blocking their effects.
When people overdose on opioids, their breathing may slow down or stop, which can be life-threatening. Administering Narcan can rapidly reverse this respiratory depression, allowing the person to breathe normally again. However, Narcan is not a treatment for opioid addiction but rather an emergency intervention to prevent overdose deaths.
Narcan is typically administered as a nasal spray or a Narcan injection. The nasal spray version is easy to use and requires no special medical training. It can be sprayed into one nostril while the person lies on their back, and if necessary, a second dose can be given after a few minutes if the person does not respond. Medical professionals, such as paramedics or emergency room staff, often use the injectable form.
Recommended Narcan Dose
Generally, for most Narcan nasal spray formulations, a single dose of 4 milligrams (mg) is administered into one nostril. If the person does not respond within 2-3 minutes after the initial dose, a second dose can be given into the other nostril.
It’s crucial to follow the instructions provided with the Narcan product or seek guidance from a healthcare professional regarding the appropriate dosage and administration technique. They can give specific recommendations based on individual circumstances and the particular formulation of Narcan.
How Do You Know When To Give Narcan?
When to use Narcan? Knowing when to administer Narcan is crucial in preventing fatal outcomes. Here are some signs that may indicate the need for Narcan:
- Unresponsiveness: If an individual is unresponsive or unconscious and you suspect an opioid overdose, Narcan may be necessary. Narcan is not harmful if administered to someone not experiencing an opioid overdose.
- Shallow or no breathing: Opioids can depress the respiratory system, leading to slow or shallow breathing or even complete cessation of breathing.
- Pinpoint pupils: Constricted or pinpoint pupils are a common sign of opioid overdose.
- Bluish lips or fingertips: Cyanosis, characterized by blue or purple discoloration of the lips, face, or extremities, indicates insufficient oxygen supply. Opioid overdose can cause respiratory depression, leading to cyanosis.
- History of opioid use: If you are aware that someone has a history of opioid use or if drug paraphernalia associated with opioids is present, it increases the likelihood of opioid overdose. In such cases, Narcan should be considered as a potentially life-saving measure.
Remember, administering Narcan is not a substitute for seeking emergency medical care. It is crucial to call emergency services (such as 911) immediately if you suspect an opioid overdose and follow their instructions while providing any necessary assistance.
How To Administer Narcan?
While Narcan nasal spray can temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, it is still crucial to seek immediate medical attention for the person experiencing the overdose. The effects of naloxone can wear off before the opioids are entirely metabolized, and professional medical care is necessary to ensure the person’s safety and provide any necessary follow-up treatment.
To use Narcan nasal spray, you follow these general steps:
- Remove the Narcan nasal spray device from its packaging.
- Hold the device with your thumb on the bottom of the plunger and two fingers on the nozzle.
- Gently insert the nozzle into one nostril until your fingers touch the bottom of the person’s nose.
- Press the plunger firmly to release the dose of naloxone. The device will automatically deliver the medication as a nasal spray.
- Remove the device from the nostril while leaving the person on their back. Repeat the process in the other nostril if needed.
- Call emergency services immediately and provide them with information about the overdose situation.
What Is Narcan Nasal Spray?
What’s Narcan? Narcan nasal spray is a brand name for a specific formulation of naloxone, a medication used to reverse opioid overdose. It is designed for easy and quick administration by spraying the medication into the nostrils.
The Narcan nasal spray is a pre-packaged device that contains a single dose of naloxone. The device is compact, portable, and requires no assembly or mixing of ingredients. It is designed to be user-friendly and can be administered by people with little or no medical training.
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Does Narcan Work On Fentanyl?
Does Narcan work for fentanyl? Yes, Narcan (naloxone) can be effective in reversing the effects of fentanyl overdose. Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid, and Narcan aims explicitly to counteract the effects of opioids, including fentanyl.
However, due to the potency of fentanyl, multiple Narcan doses may be required to reverse its effects, and the effects of fentanyl may last longer than other opioids, necessitating continued medical attention. It is crucial to seek emergency medical aid even after administering Narcan in cases of suspected fentanyl overdose.
Narcan Uses Drug Facts
What Is Narcan Used For?
Narcan, also known as naloxone, is primarily used for the emergency treatment of opioid overdose. It is an opioid receptor antagonist that rapidly reverses the opioid effects, including respiratory depression.
Narcan is administered to restore normal breathing and prevent fatal outcomes in cases of opioid overdose. It is a crucial tool in emergency response, particularly for individuals who may have taken excessive amounts of opioids or bystanders who witness an overdose and need to intervene quickly.
How Does Narcan Work?
What does Narcan do? Narcan, or naloxone, works by binding to the brain’s opioid receptors, blocking the effects of opioids. It acts as a competitive antagonist, displacing opioids from the receptors and reversing their effects.
By blocking the opioids’ activity, Narcan rapidly restores normal breathing, often compromised during an overdose. It has a high affinity for opioid receptors, allowing it to counteract the effects of opioids and reverse respiratory depression quickly.
How Is Narcan Administered?
How to give Narcan? Narcan nasal spray can be administered by a variety of individuals, including the following:
- Bystanders: Narcan nasal spray is designed to be user-friendly and can be administered by bystanders who witness an opioid overdose. It does not require medical training or expertise.
- Family members or friends: How to use Narcan nasal spray? Family members or friends of individuals at risk of opioid overdose can be trained in administering Narcan nasal spray to provide immediate assistance in an emergency.
- First responders: Law enforcement officers, firefighters, paramedics, and other trained first responders often carry Narcan nasal spray as part of their emergency response kits to administer in overdose situations.
- Healthcare professionals: Healthcare providers, such as doctors, nurses, and emergency medical technicians, have Narcan training and may use it in various clinical settings.
How Do You Get Narcan?
Can you get Narcan over the counter? How to get free Narcan near me? Different regions and jurisdictions may have specific guidelines and regulations regarding distributing and administering Narcan nasal spray.
Training or prescription may be required in some cases, while it may be available over the counter in others. Some locations have Narcan vending machines, and some can provide free Narcan kits by mail. How can I get Narcan? It is advisable to check local regulations and guidelines for the specific requirements in your area.
How To Adminster Narcan? How To Use Narcan Nasal Spray For An Opioid Overdose Free PDF
Download the below copy of Health NY (.gov) on how to give Narcan nasal spray. The choice of administration method may depend on the available training, resources, and specific circumstances. It is crucial to consult local guidelines and regulations regarding the use of naloxone in your area.
File Source: https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/12028.pdf
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Over the years, efforts have been made to increase the accessibility and distribution of Narcan to combat opioid overdoses. Many states in the United States have implemented laws and programs to expand Narcan availability, including making it available over the counter or providing it to first responders and community organizations.
In 2019, an estimated 10.1 million US citizens aged 12 or older misused opioid drugs in the past year. This includes both prescription opioids and illicit opioids.
In 2020, there were over 69,000 drug overdose deaths in the US. Opioids were involved in the majority of these deaths.
Between 1996 and 2014, Narcan was used in over 26,000 reported overdose reversals in the US.
Top 10 Questions About What Is Narcan For
Can you buy Narcan over the counter?
Yes, in many regions, Narcan (naloxone) can be purchased over the counter without a prescription. This means that individuals, including family members, friends, and bystanders, can obtain Narcan directly from a pharmacy or other authorized retailers without needing a prescription from a healthcare provider. However, checking your local area’s specific regulations and requirements is crucial, as availability and restrictions may vary.
Does Narcan expire?
Yes, Narcan (naloxone) does have an expiration date. It is crucial to check the expiration date on the packaging and ensure that the medication is within its expiration period before use.
Can you overdose on Narcan?
No, it is highly unlikely to overdose on Narcan nasal spray alone. Narcan is an opioid antagonist and does not produce significant physiological effects in individuals who have not used opioids. However, if administered to someone not experiencing an opioid overdose, it may cause discomfort or withdrawal symptoms, but it is not considered life-threatening.
How long does Narcan affect you?
The effects of Narcan nasal spray typically last for 30 to 90 minutes. However, the duration can vary based on factors such as the individual’s metabolism, the specific opioid involved, and the dosage of Narcan. It is crucial to seek medical attention and ongoing care even after administering Narcan to ensure the person’s safety and to address the underlying opioid overdose.
How to get Narcan for free?
Many community-based organizations, harm reduction initiatives, and health departments offer free Narcan distribution programs. These programs aim to increase access to naloxone and may provide training on its proper administration. In some cases, insurance plans may cover the cost of Narcan. Checking with your insurance provider or contacting a local pharmacy can help determine if it is covered under your plan.
Do you need a prescription for Narcan?
How to buy Narcan? The need for a prescription for Narcan varies based on the region and local regulations. In many places, Narcan is available without a prescription, allowing individuals to purchase it directly from a pharmacy or authorized retailer. However, checking your area’s requirements and regulations is crucial, as they may differ.
Does Narcan work for fentanyl poisoning?
Yes, Narcan nasal spray can be effective in reversing the effects of fentanyl poisoning. Fentanyl is an opioid, and Narcan acts as an opioid receptor antagonist, counteracting the effects of opioids, including fentanyl, and restoring normal breathing.
Is naloxone Narcan?
Yes, naloxone and Narcan are the same medication. What is a Narcan? Narcan is a brand name for naloxone, an opioid receptor antagonist used to reverse the effects of opioid overdose.
What is in Narcan?
Narcan contains the active ingredient naloxone hydrochloride, an opioid receptor antagonist. It is typically formulated as a nasal spray or an injectable solution, and it may also have other inactive ingredients based on the specific formulation.
What is Narcan used for other than overdose?
Narcan is primarily used for the emergency treatment of opioid overdose. However, it may also be used in a medical setting to help diagnose and differentiate opioid-induced respiratory depression from other causes. Moreover, in some cases, Narcan may be used off-label for treating respiratory depression caused by other substances or medical conditions, as determined by a healthcare professional.
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Narcan Side Effects & Interactions
Can you OD on Narcan? No. Narcan nasal spray is considered safe and well-tolerated but can have side effects and interactions like any medication. Here’s some information:
Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms:
Narcan can precipitate opioid withdrawal symptoms in individuals who are physically dependent on opioids. These symptoms may include:
- Increased heart rate.
Narcan can rapidly reverse the effects of opioids, which can lead to the onset of withdrawal symptoms in individuals who are physically dependent on opioids. These symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, sweating, tremors, increased heart rate, and anxiety. It is crucial to be prepared to manage these symptoms appropriately.
Can you give Narcan to someone who is awake? Narcan is generally administered to individuals who are experiencing an opioid overdose and are unresponsive or have significantly impaired consciousness. If someone is fully awake and not showing signs of opioid overdose, there is typically no need to administer Narcan.
Interactions With Other Medications:
Narcan can cause opioid reversal. Narcan can rapidly reverse the effects of opioid medications, potentially reducing their analgesic effects and leading to a return of pain or other symptoms related to opioid use.
Narcan is typically administered in emergencies, and the potential benefits of reversing an opioid overdose outweigh the risk of side effects or interactions. Healthcare professionals should be consulted for guidance on using Narcan appropriately, especially for individuals with known medical conditions or those taking other medications.
How Long Does Narcan Stay In Your System?
How long does Narcan last? Generally, the effects of Narcan last for 30 to 90 minutes, and the elimination half-life of Narcan (naloxone) is relatively short, typically around 1 to 1.5 hours. This means that it takes approximately that amount of time for the concentration of Narcan in the body to decrease by half. However, factors such as metabolism and other medications or substances can influence the duration of Narcan’s presence in the system.
How do you administer Narcan? Suppose a patient does not respond to the initial administration of (naloxone) Narcan nasal spray and remains unresponsive or continues to exhibit signs of opioid overdose. In that case, it is crucial to continue administering additional doses of naloxone as directed by emergency medical services (EMS) or healthcare professionals. Some opioid substances have a longer duration of action than naloxone, so additional doses may be necessary to fully reverse the effects of the opioids and restore normal breathing and consciousness. It is crucial to contact emergency aid immediately and follow their guidance throughout the process.
Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms After Narcan Dosing
The purpose of Narcan is to reverse an opioid overdose and save lives. While withdrawal signs and symptoms can be painful and uncomfortable, they are temporary and typically resolve quickly.
Opioid withdrawal symptoms can occur after administering Narcan nasal spray, especially in individuals physically dependent on opioids. Some common opioid withdrawal symptoms that may occur include:
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Abdominal cramps.
- Muscle aches and pains.
- Anxiety and restlessness.
- Dilated pupils.
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure.
Suppose you or someone you know experiences opioid withdrawal symptoms after receiving Narcan. In that case, it is recommended to seek further medical attention and support to manage the withdrawal and address the underlying opioid use disorder.
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Where To Buy Narcan?
Where can you buy Narcan? The availability and regulations for purchasing Narcan may vary based on your location. It is recommended to check local laws and regulations or consult a healthcare professional for guidance on obtaining Narcan in your area.
Narcan nasal spray can be purchased from various sources. Here are a few common options:
- Pharmacies: Many pharmacies, including large chains and independent pharmacies, carry Narcan. It is typically available over the counter (OTC) without a prescription. You can visit a local pharmacy and inquire about purchasing Narcan.
- Online Retailers: Narcan is also available for purchase from online retailers. Several websites offer Narcan nasal spray or injectable formulations for sale. Ensure that you purchase from a reputable source.
- Community Programs: In some areas, community programs or harm reduction organizations may distribute Narcan for free or at a reduced cost. These programs aim to increase access to naloxone and may provide training on its proper administration. You can check availability with local health departments, community organizations, or harm reduction initiatives.
Where To Get Narcan For Free Near Me?
Where can I get Narcan for free? Contacting local resources or conducting an online search specific to your location can provide up-to-date information on where to access free Narcan near you. To find locations near you where Narcan nasal spray may be available for free, you can try the following options:
- Local Health Departments: Contact your health department or visit their website to inquire about programs or initiatives offering free Narcan distribution. They may have information on where to obtain Narcan at no cost in your area.
- Community Organizations and Harm Reduction Programs: Reach out to community organizations or harm reduction programs in your area. These organizations often provide resources and services related to substance use and may offer free Narcan distribution or training on its use.
- Pharmacies and Retailers: Some pharmacies or retailers participate in programs that provide Narcan for free or at a reduced cost. Check with local pharmacies or retailers in your area and ask if they have any programs or partnerships that provide free Narcan.
How Much Will Narcan Cost Over The Counter?
The cost of naloxone over the counter can vary based on the specific formulation, brand, and location. While prices may vary, here are some approximate ranges for Narcan:
- Narcan Nasal Spray: The cost of Narcan nasal spray can range from around $125 to $150 per kit, which typically contains two doses. Prices may vary based on the retailer or pharmacy.
- Generic Naloxone Auto-Injectors: Generic auto-injectors containing naloxone can range from around $140 to $170 per device. Each device usually includes a single dose of naloxone.
These price ranges are approximate and can vary based on factors such as location, discounts, and insurance coverage. Prices may also change over time. To get the most accurate and up-to-date information on the cost of Narcan over the counter, contacting local pharmacies or retailers is recommended. Moreover, insurance coverage or assistance programs may be available to help reduce the cost of Narcan.
What Should Be Considered Before Taking Narcan Nasal Spray?
Always consult a healthcare professional or pharmacist if you have questions or concerns regarding Narcan nasal spray or require personalized advice based on your specific health circumstances.
Before taking Narcan nasal spray (naloxone), it is crucial to consider the following:
- Proper Training: It is crucial to receive adequate training on how to use Narcan nasal spray effectively. Familiarize yourself with the instructions provided with the product or seek guidance from a healthcare professional or pharmacist to ensure you understand the correct administration technique.
- Allergies or Sensitivities: If you have a known allergy to naloxone or any of the ingredients in Narcan nasal spray, you should avoid using it. Reviewing the product’s package insert or consulting with a healthcare professional to confirm if you have any contraindications or sensitivities is essential.
- Underlying Medical Conditions: If you or someone you’re concerned with have any underlying medical conditions, discussing them with a healthcare professional before using Narcan nasal spray is crucial. They can guide you on any potential risks or interactions based on your health situation.
- Follow-up Care: After administering Narcan nasal spray, it is crucial to seek immediate medical aid for the person experiencing an opioid overdose. Narcan temporarily reverses overdose effects, and ongoing medical care is necessary to address the underlying opioid use and ensure the person’s safety and well-being.
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Top 10 Where Can You Get Narcan? FAQs
Is Narcan over the counter?
Yes, Narcan nasal spray is available over the counter in many places, allowing individuals to purchase it without a prescription from a pharmacy or authorized retailer. Availability may vary based on state and local regulations, so it’s crucial to check the specific requirements in your area.
Where can I buy Narcan?
Narcan can be purchased at various locations, such as pharmacies, healthcare providers, and online retailers. It is typically available over the counter without a prescription. Still, availability may vary based on location and regulations, so it’s best to check with local retailers or pharmacies for specific purchasing options.
How much is Narcan at Walgreens?
Is Narcan free at Walgreens? The pricing of Narcan (naloxone) at Walgreens can vary. It is recommended to contact your local Walgreens store directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information on the cost of Narcan at that specific location.
How much does Narcan cost at CVS?
The cost of Narcan at CVS can vary based on the specific formulation, location, and any applicable discounts or insurance coverage. It is best to contact your local CVS pharmacy directly for the most accurate and up-to-date pricing information on Narcan.
How to get Narcan in California?
In California, Narcan nasal spray can be obtained without a prescription from various sources. You can visit local pharmacies and harm reduction organizations or contact local health departments for information on how to access Narcan and any available programs or initiatives that provide it.
Where to get free Narcan?
To get free Narcan nasal spray, you can contact local health departments, harm reduction organizations, or community programs in your area. These organizations often offer free Narcan distribution or may have resources to help you access Narcan at no cost.
Can Narcan be used for heart attack?
No, Narcan nasal spray is not used for heart attacks. Narcan is specifically used to reverse the effects of opioid overdose by blocking the opioid receptors in the body and restoring normal breathing and consciousness.
Who makes Narcan nasal spray?
Narcan nasal spray is manufactured by Adapt Pharma, a subsidiary of Emergent BioSolutions Inc. Adapt Pharma developed the Narcan nasal spray formulation for the emergency treatment of opioid overdose. When was Narcan invented? In March 1961, Dr. Jack Fishman and Dr. Mozes Lewenstein applied for one of the first patents for naloxone. In 1971, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved using naloxone to treat overdoses.
Does Narcan work on meth?
Narcan (naloxone) does not work on methamphetamine (meth) overdose. Narcan nasal spray specifically targets and reverses the effects of opioids, not other substances like methamphetamine.
Is Narcan a controlled substance?
No, Narcan nasal spray is not considered a controlled substance. It is a medication that can be obtained without a prescription in many places, as it is widely recognized for its importance in reversing opioid overdose and saving lives.
The duration opiates stay in the system depends on several factors, including the specific opioid used, the individual’s metabolism, frequency of use, dosage, and other variables. Generally, opiates can be detected in urine for a few days to a week, in blood for a few hours to a couple of days, and in saliva for a few days. Hair follicle tests can detect opiate use for several months.
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Narcan should be administered when there are signs of an opioid overdose, such as unresponsiveness, shallow or no breathing, pinpoint pupils, and cyanosis (bluish lips or fingertips). If you suspect an opioid overdose, acting quickly and calling emergency services (such as 911) for assistance is crucial. Narcan can be administered while waiting for emergency medical help to arrive.
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How Long Do Opiates Stay in Your System? Brief Video Transcript.
Drugs in the opioid class are used to treat pain. Natural opioids, semi-synthetic opioids generated from natural opioids, and synthetic opioids produced in a lab are all referred to as opioids under the general term. A class of medications known as opioids have opiates, which are organic byproducts of the poppy plant. The main difference is that “opiate” refers to the substances derived from the opium (poppy) plant. At the same time, “opioids” are all substances that interact with opioid receptors, including those created in the lab.
The length of time that opiates remain in your system varies depending on the type of opiate, the dosage, and the frequency of use. Generally, opiates can stay in your system for two to four days. However, heavier and chronic users may have residues in their system for up to seven days.
Opiates can be detected in the blood test for up to 24 hours and the urine test for up to three days. Opiates can be detected in the hair follicles for up to 90 days. In chronic users, opiates can stay in the body for up to 30 days.
Opiates often have short half-lives, meaning their effects can linger for several hours even though they swiftly leave the body. However, Opioids can linger in a person’s bloodstream for several hours or days after the symptoms subside, depending on the substance used. Urine tests, one of the more common types of drug testing, can identify opioid usage for longer periods, often up to three to four days, and some tests can identify opioid use for up to three months.
Search We Level Up Narcan Nasal Spray, Opiate Detox, Mental Health Topics & Resources
 Opioid Overdose Prevention TOOLKIT – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
 NIDA. 2017, March 30. Naloxone for Opioid Overdose: Life-Saving Science. Retrieved from https://nida.nih.gov/publications/naloxone-opioid-overdose-life-saving-science on 2023, June 24
 Jordan MR, Morrisonponce D. Naloxone. [Updated 2023 Apr 29]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441910/
 Rzasa Lynn R, Galinkin JL. Naloxone dosage for opioid reversal: current evidence and clinical implications. Ther Adv Drug Saf. 2018 Jan;9(1):63-88. doi 10.1177/2042098617744161. Epub 2017 Dec 13. PMID: 29318006; PMCID: PMC5753997.
 FDA Approves First Over-the-Counter Naloxone Nasal Spray – Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
 Information about Naloxone – Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
 What is Naloxone? – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
 Lifesaving Naloxone – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
 Opioid Overdose Education & Naloxone Distribution (OEND) – Veterans Affairs (.gov)