Narcan is now FDA approved for over-the-counter distribution. Here's how to use it.

Originally published at: Narcan is now FDA approved for over-the-counter distribution. Here's how to use it. | Boing Boing


Man, I remember an NPR story or something about the FDA inexplicably (byt not really) blocking Naloxone from like the late 90s / early 2000s. Enough white “Real Americans” must be dying of oxy to move the needle huh?


Of fentanyl, but yes.

Wonder if I should add a dose to my IFAK - I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone on opiates in my life, though.


New York Times putting lifesaving information behind a paywall…

Tired Giving Up GIF by Strays

Non-paywall version here…


The warning notably not mentioned is to be prepared for violence. Narcan throws the victim into abrupt withdrawal, and they have been known to come up swinging, puking and pretty irrational. But alive, so yeah, you still need to do it.


Well only people who can pay deserve to have this knowledge… /s


Wow! We hand that stuff out constantly up here in the socialist dystopia that is Canada. I have some in my glovebox beside the pocket mask. Watching somebody die and being unable to help is the worst thing I have ever experienced, and I am completely appalled it too the FDA until now to allow it.

We literally give the things away to anyone who wants one here.

That said, cue the overwrought handwringing from the angry right wingers about how if we make saving people’s lives from overdoses possible, more toddlers might start using drugs. Eleventy.


For those unable to read the NYT article - - you spray it in the person’s nose and then step back. If they aren’t breathing, or are snoring, you can reposition their head beforehand, but that’s not totally necessary, as the narcan will absorb through the nasal lining either way. Step back, bc as Docsoc says, some people awaken in a very unhappy way, and are also often confused. Vomiting can occur as well. Which are all better than being dead.


How much does it cost? Might be worth adding to my emergency kit.


I got some of this for my first aid kit a couple months ago. I did eventually manage to get it for very low cost, but it was quite a struggle and a hassle. I hope this means that once it expires (or, improbably, actually gets used) I’ll be able to replace it easily.


Came to say this. Yes, can confirm. Thank you for getting the message out.

And as was drilled into our heads in first aid training:

Q: When do we leave an unconscious patient on their back?
A: We never leave an unconscious patient on their back. Never.

So I interpret it all as: get them onto their side if you can, before you step back.


My youngest was trained at university in recognizing an OD crisis and treating with Narcan. Not in a course but as part of organizing social activities in campus life. This reflects a reality that BC has been facing for many years, that fentanyl has become mainstream.

I am not certain that I would recognize when a person is in an OD state. I suppose that is context and first aid training?


Same! I also carry an epinephrine shot. I won’t ever need it or the Narcan, but someone near me might someday.


That is good to know! So squirt the dose in the nose, get them on their side, and back off?

Epinephrine is too expensive here for me to carry just in case some random person has a allergy emergency. I wish it wasn’t. Also pretty sure I couldn’t get it without a script

Yay USA :pensive:


Anoxia (blue lips), snoring, intermittent breathing. It can mean a lot of things, but it definitely means call 911. Naloxone doesn’t hurt people*, so a shot is very unlikely to make things worse.

*There is a microscopic percentage of people who may be allergic, but if they aren’t breathing then your best bet is to give a shot. Note: I am not a doctor.


No, but I am, and you are correct.

NARCAN® Nasal Spray may cause serious side effects, including:

  • Body aches.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Increased heart rate.
  • Fever.
  • Runny nose.
  • Sneezing.
  • Goose bumps.
  • Sweating.

(Basically, all the symptoms of withdrawal, as noted above.)
If it is given to a non-narcotic-overdose patient, none of these are a worry. Not giving it can result in death, so…


Like this, ideally:


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