Narcan Now Available Over the Counter to Reverse Opioid Overdoses


Narcan, the trade name for Naloxone HCl Nasal Spray, was approved for over-the-counter (OTC) nonprescription use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in March, becoming the first naloxone product approved for use without a prescription. Naloxone is a medication that rapidly reverses the effects of opioid overdose and is the standard treatment for opioid overdose.

Emergent BioSolutions has announced that shipments of its over the counter, original prescription strength NARCAN® Nasal Spray 4mg are now being delivered to leading pharmacies and grocery stores, as well as online retailers.

Drug overdose persists as a major public health issue in the United States, with more than 101,750 reported fatal overdoses occurring in the 12-month period ending in October 2022, primarily driven by synthetic opioids like illicit fentanyl. Construction workers account for nearly 23% of all opioid overdose deaths. Many of these happened on the job.

When someone is having an opioid overdose, the receptors in their brain get filled and overstimulated by opioids and when these receptors are full or are “maxed out,” your brain tells your body to slow down or even stop your breathing. Naloxone works to reverse this process. It works by binding with and blocking opioid receptors to rapidly reverse the effects of opioid overdose.

According to Emergent, last year, approximately every seven minutes one life was lost due to an opioid overdose, and today it is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. The average response time for emergency services to arrive is approximately 10 minutes.

Having NARCAN® Nasal Spray in a first-aid kit on a job site, or carrying it on the go in case of an opioid emergency, can make a difference and help reverse the effects of opioids while waiting for emergency personnel to arrive.

The manufacturer’s suggested retail price of NARCAN® Nasal Spray is $44.99 per two-dose carton, roughly $22.50 per dose.

Learn more about Naloxone. NAHB also has resources to address the opioid crisis in construction.

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