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The Results Are In With Dr. Sanjay Gupta | Narcan Is Now Available Over-the-Counter

Narcan Sanjay Gupta Article
September 13, 2023
This is a guest post by WWSG exclusive thought leader, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Last week, Narcan, an FDA-approved nasal spray version of the opioid antidote naloxone became available over-the-counter for the first time.

Emergent BioSolutions, the drug’s maker, said the opioid antidote has a suggested retail price of $44.99 per carton of two doses and will be available initially in stores and online from retailers including Walgreens, Rite Aid, Walmart and CVS.

Nearly every state in the US has standing orders that allowed pharmacists or other qualified organizations to provide the medication without a personal prescription to people who were at risk of an overdose or were helping someone at risk. But the new over-the-counter availability means the drug can be sold without any sort of prescription, making it available to purchase just like you would shampoo or aspirin.

The FDA approved Narcan as an over-the-counter drug in March against a backdrop of record high deaths from opioid overdose, driven by powerful synthetic drugs like illicit fentanyl. Narcan can revive a person from an overdose within minutes.

I’ve reported on naloxone’s ability to save and revive people from overdose for years, and any effort to get it into more hands is a step in the right direction. What’s key is to know when to use it.

Signs of an overdose can include small, constricted pupils, loss of consciousness and slow or weak breathing. If you see someone who you think has overdosed, call 911 immediately and administer Narcan, if it’s available. Even if they haven’t overdosed on an opioid, giving them the drug won’t harm them.

You can watch how to do it in this video that I put together.

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