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What you need to know about naloxone

Naloxone is a medication that can reverse the effects of narcotics on the body and prevent someone from dying of an overdose. It also goes by the brand name Narcan. It is available from a pharmacy and packaged in a way that allows you to administer an appropriate dose even if you are not a medical professional.

You may be curious about naloxone, particularly how to obtain it, how to use it and under what circumstances. Get answers to some of the most important questions you may have.

Is it legal to possess naloxone?

Yes. In fact, state officials encourage it. This is especially true of family members of people who use narcotics and those who live in states where opioid use is epidemic.

Do you need a prescription to obtain naloxone?

Because it can literally save a life in an overdose emergency, naloxone is available without a prescription to anyone in Texas who wants to buy it, both in store and online. However, some states require you to have a prescription from a doctor.

How much does naloxone cost?

Again, it depends on how you try to purchase it and from where. The manufacturer offers a payment assistance program. Insurance companies may cover it, but you may have to pay a co-pay.

How is naloxone administered?

Naloxone is available as a nasal spray, which allows anyone to spray it into the nose of someone experiencing an overdose. Naloxone is also injectable, and there is an auto-injector device available that allows an ordinary civilian to inject the correct amount into the outer thigh. Only someone with medical training, like a paramedic, should inject naloxone without an auto-injector.

Does naloxone have side effects?

Naloxone can produce mild withdrawal symptoms that are not life-threatening. Most health care professionals consider this an acceptable risk compared to the potentially fatal effects of an opioid overdose.

Symptoms of narcotic overdose indicating naloxone administration include slowed or stopped respiration. However, it will have no effect if the breathing cessation is due to something other than narcotics.