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How to Use Naloxone

Narcan is a common name for the drug naloxone, which is a reversing agent for opioid overdose. Narcan blocks opioid receptors and can quickly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. The most commonly used opioid in overdose cases is heroin, but analgesic, or pain reducing medications, such as codeine are also responsible for overdoses.


Administering Narcan

Narcan can be administered via injection or through a nasal spray.

Injectable naloxone can be purchased in vials which are ready for injection. A syringe is attached to the vial and administered by a trained professional.

Auto injectables, such as the brand EVZIO® can be purchased by families, and is easy to use. This is a prefilled device that allows for quick administration of naloxone into the outer thigh.

Nasal sprays can also be used. NARCAN®, the name commonly used for naloxone, is the version of the drug that is administered through the nasal spray. Administration is quick and simple. No assembly is required, and the contents of the vial are sprayed into the nostril while the patient lays on their back.

In some cases, two doses may be required. The patient should then be monitored for several hours after administration.

There may be some withdrawal symptoms in response to receiving a dose of naloxone.


Who can Administer Naloxone?

This varies from state to state. In some states, access to Naloxone is restricted to paramedics. In others, outpatient clinics do give out naloxone.

If you are interested in obtaining naloxone, check your state’s regulations.


What this video to learn more about Naloxone and how to appropriately use it: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0w-us7fQE3s

(Source: https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/opioid-overdose-reversal-naloxone-narcan-evzio)