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Naloxone: 7 things you should know

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Aug 2, 2023.

1. How it works

2. Upsides

3. Downsides

If you are between the ages of 18 and 60, take no other medication or have no other medical conditions, side effects you are more likely to experience include:

Note: In general, seniors or children, people with certain medical conditions (such as liver or kidney problems, heart disease, diabetes, seizures) or people who take other medications are more at risk of developing a wider range of side effects. View complete list of side effects

4. Bottom Line

Naloxone can be used by consumers and the lay-public, first-responders and healthcare providers to help reverse an overdose due to opioids (narcotics), including heroin and prescription opioids. It can be given by family members or caregivers until emergency help arrives. Because the duration of action of most opioids may exceed the duration of naloxone, additional doses of naloxone may be required. Naloxone is not a substitute for emergency medical care. Always call for emergency medical care (911) after you have given a dose of naloxone, as you may not know what the person has overdosed on, and it may be a mixture of substances.

5. Tips

6. Response and effectiveness

7. Interactions

Note that this list is not all-inclusive and includes only common medications that may interact with naloxone. You should refer to the prescribing information or the OTC Drug Facts Label for naloxone for a complete and updated list of interactions.


Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Naloxone only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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