- Naloxone is a medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, usually within 1-5 minutes.
- The Most common ways to administer naloxone are by injection into the upper thigh or arm muscle, or as a nasal spray.
- Naloxone cannot get you high.
- You cannot overdose on naloxone.
- Naloxone is the generic name for the medication.
- Narcan is a brand name for a prepackaged nasal spray form of naloxone.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING AN OPIOID OVERDOSE?
- Opioids (like heroin, pain pills, fentanyl, etc.) slow down the central nervous system, which slows down breathing and heart rate.
- An opioid overdose occurs when the brain can no longer regulate breathing, causing respiratory depression (not breathing enough) until breathing stops completely.
HOW DOES NALOXONE REVERSE AN OPIOID OVERDOSE?
- Opioids, such as heroin, prescription pain pills or fentanyl, bind to opioid receptors in the brain. Naloxone binds to the same receptors but are a “better fit,” so they essentially “kick” the opioids off and block the opioid receptors for about an hour.