Generic Name: naloxone (nasal) (na LOX one)
Brand Name: Narcan
What is Narcan (naloxone nasal)?
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 nasal (for use in the nose) 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 nasal is also used to help diagnose whether a person has used an overdose of an opioid.
Naloxone nasal may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about Narcan (naloxone nasal)?
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 healthcare provider before using Narcan (naloxone nasal)?
You should not be treated with this medicine if you are allergic to naloxone.
To make sure naloxone nasal 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 nasal 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 should I use Narcan (naloxone nasal)?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
This medicine may be given by a healthcare provider, emergency medical provider, or a family member or caregiver who is trained to properly give naloxone nasal.
Naloxone nasal should be sprayed into the nose while the person is lying on his or her back.
If you are a caregiver or family member giving naloxone nasal to another person, read all instructions when you first get this medicine. Read all caregiver information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided with this medicine. 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 naloxone nasal 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 naloxone nasal. You may need to perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) on the person while you are waiting for emergency help to arrive.
After giving this medicine, stay with the person and watch for continued signs of overdose. You may need to give another dose every 2 to 3 minutes until emergency help arrives. Follow all medication instructions carefully.
Each single-use spray pump contains enough naloxone nasal for one use only. Throw away after one use, even if there is still some medicine left in the pump after using a dose.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep each spray pump in the box until you are ready to give a dose. Do not use this medicine if the expiration date on the label has passed.
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?
Since each spray pump contains only enough naloxone nasal for one dose, an overdose is unlikely to occur.
What should I avoid while taking Narcan (naloxone nasal)?
Avoid leaving a person alone after giving him or her a dose of naloxone nasal. An overdose can impair a person's thinking or reactions.
Narcan (naloxone nasal) 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 nasal 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 nasal)?
Other drugs may interact with naloxone nasal, 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 Injection (naloxone)
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about naloxone nasal.
- 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.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.01.
Date modified: October 14, 2016
Last reviewed: March 30, 2016