Anyone can save a life during an opioid overdose with naloxone, a front-line defense in the nation’s opioid crisis. Naloxone is a life-saving drug that, when sprayed into the nose or injected, quickly reverses the powerful effects of opioids during an overdose.
Everyone who overdoses with opioids, whether with a prescribed medicine or an illicit drug, needs naloxone. Examples of opioids include heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, and morphine.
Because overdoses can happen anywhere, naloxone is designed to be used by anyone, even a bystander. That’s one of many reasons the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is working to help increase access to naloxone in case of such an emergency. The FDA has approved different forms of naloxone, including injections and nasal sprays.
“Without the administration of naloxone, there is a high risk of fatality from an overdose,” said Marta Sokolowska, Ph.D., deputy center director for substance use and behavioral health at the FDA. “This is the reason it is very important that anyone witnessing an opioid overdose has access to naloxone and feels confident using it during an emergency.”
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