Generic Name: naloxone (nah LOX one)
Brand Name: Evzio
What is Narcan (naloxone)?
Naloxone blocks or reverses the effects of opioid medication, including extreme drowsiness, slowed breathing, or loss of consciousness. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic.
Naloxone is used to treat a narcotic overdose in an emergency situation. This medicine should not be used in place of emergency medical care for an overdose.
Naloxone is also used to help diagnose whether a person has used an overdose of an opioid.
Naloxone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about Narcan (naloxone)?
In an emergency situation it may not be possible before you are treated to tell your caregivers about your health conditions or if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Make sure any doctor caring for you afterward knows that you have received this medication.
What should I discuss with my health care provider before receiving Narcan (naloxone)?
You should not receive this medicine if you are allergic to naloxone.
To make sure naloxone is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.
It is not known whether naloxone passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
In an emergency situation it may not be possible to tell your caregivers if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Make sure any doctor caring for your pregnancy or your baby knows you have received this medicine.
How is naloxone given?
Naloxone is injected into a muscle, under the skin, or into a vein through an IV. The injection may be given by a healthcare provider, emergency medical provider, or a family member or caregiver who is trained to properly give a naloxone injection.
If you are a caregiver or family member giving a naloxone injection, read all instructions when you first get this medicine. If provided, use the "trainer" device to practice giving an injection so you will know how to do it in an emergency. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Be sure you know how to recognize the signs of an opioid overdose in the person you are caring for. Overdose symptoms may include:
slowed breathing, or no breathing;
very small or pinpoint pupils in the eyes;
slow heartbeats; or
extreme drowsiness, especially if you are unable to wake the person from sleep.
Even if you are not sure an opioid overdose has occurred, if the person is not breathing or is unresponsive, give the naloxone injection right away and then seek emergency medical care.
Do not assume that an overdose episode has ended if symptoms improve. You must get emergency help after giving a naloxone injection.
Naloxone injected into a muscle is given in the outer thigh. In an emergency, you may give an injection through the person's clothing.
After injecting naloxone, stay with the person and watch for continued signs of overdose. You may need to give another injection every 2 to 3 minutes until emergency help arrives. Follow all medication instructions carefully.
Each Evzio auto-injector is for one use only. Throw away after one use, even if there is still some medicine left in it after injecting a dose.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the auto-injector in its outer case until you are ready to use it. Do not use the medicine if it has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medication.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Because you will receive naloxone in an emergency situation, you are not likely to miss a dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while using Narcan (naloxone)?
Avoid leaving a person alone after giving him or her a naloxone injection. An overdose can impair a person's thinking or reactions.
Narcan (naloxone) side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Because naloxone reverses opioid effects, this medicine may cause sudden withdrawal symptoms such as:
nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain;
fever, sweating, body aches, weakness;
tremors or shivering, fast heart rate, pounding heartbeats, increased blood pressure;
feeling nervous, restless, or irritable;
runny nose, yawning; or
(in babies younger than 4 weeks old) seizures, crying, stiffness, overactive reflexes.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Narcan (naloxone)?
Other drugs may interact with naloxone, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
More about Narcan (naloxone)
- Other brands: Evzio
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about naloxone.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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