Over the Counter Narcan Will Be Available in Stores Soon

Emergent BioSolutions Inc., the maker of non-prescription Narcan, announced the company has officially begun shipping the nasal spray to leading retailers and online stores.

Narcan Naloxone HCl Nasal Spray 4 mg — a medication that reverses the potentially fatal effects of an opioid overdose — will be available on store shelves and online the first week of September, according to the drug's maker Emergent BioSolutions Inc.

The hope is that the easy accessibility to Narcan will help combat the impact of the ongoing opioid crisis fueled by prescription and illegal opioids, including oxycodone, hydrocodone, heroin, fentanyl, codeine, and morphine.

In a statement, the company said it has begun shipping the over-the-counter Narcan to retail stores nationwide and online outlets with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price of $44.99 per two-dose carton. However, the price may vary depending on the retailer.

On March 29, the FDA approved Emergent BioSolutions' non-prescription Narcan to remove barriers to access by allowing people to purchase the potentially life-saving medication online or from store shelves without asking a pharmacist.

Narcan can rapidly reverse the life-threatening effects of an opioid overdose by binding with opioid receptors in the brain.

However, Narcan has no effect on a person who does not have opioids in their system. Therefore, experts say it should be given to anyone showing signs of opioid overdose or when someone suspects another person is experiencing an overdose.

According to the CDC, signs of an opioid overdose include:

  • Small, constricted "pinpoint pupils"
  • Loss of consciousness or falling asleep
  • Limp body
  • Slow, shallow breathing
  • Choking or gurgling sounds
  • Cold or clammy skin
  • Discolored skin, especially on the lips and nails

Still, once Narcan is administered, it only works to reverse an overdose for 30 to 90 minutes. So, it's crucial to dial 911 and seek emergency assistance immediately when a person is suspected of overdosing on opioids, even if Narcan appears to be working.

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