Does Narcan Work on Fentanyl?

Narcan is the brand name of a drug called naloxone, which is an opioid antidote. As opioid-related deaths have been on the rise throughout the U.S., Narcan has become a life-saving mechanism to help reverse the effects of an overdose.

People wonder, does Narcan work on fentanyl since it is an opioid, but it also incredibly potent. The following provides an overview of what Narcan is and how it works, and also answers “does Narcan work on fentanyl?”

Does Narcan Work on Fentanyl?
Narcan or naloxone is, as was touched on above, an opiate antidote. Opioids include not only fentanyl but also heroin and prescription painkillers that include morphine, codeine, methadone, and oxycodone. When someone overdoses on an opioid, which is becoming increasingly common, their respiration slows down or stops altogether.

Narcan is a prescription medicine that can block the impact of the opioids and reverse an overdose, and it’s not something that can be used to get high. If someone takes Narcan and they haven’t taken opioids, it has zero effect on them.

Narcan works by moving the opioids of the drugs out of the opioid receptors found in the brain. It can work even when opioids are paired with other substances such as alcohol or other drugs. When someone is given a dose of Narcan, it is intended to help them start breathing again, and it can be easier to wake them.

It’s important to understand however that if someone has overdosed on a drug that’s not classified as an opioid, Narcan will not work. Also, if someone has taken opioids but isn’t actually experiencing an overdose, and they take Narcan, it can send them into an instantaneous state of withdrawal, which can be highly uncomfortable.

Narcan is given to someone who is overdosing by an injection or as a nasal spray, and this medicine is responsible for reversing thousands of opioid overdoses.

Trained individuals and physicians can prescribe Narcan, and it usually starts working with about five minutes.

A fentanyl overdose can be incredibly scary, and these scenarios are responsible for thousands of deaths each year. In recent years the number of overdose deaths related to fentanyl has risen dramatically, and this is largely because of how potent even pharmaceutical grade fentanyl is. This doesn’t even speak to the fact that illicit fentanyl is often even stronger, and many times people take heroin and other drugs laced with fentanyl without even realizing it.

The chances of an overdose of fentanyl are greater than with other opioids, and an overdose can also happen more quickly because of the potency of this drug, and there are many situations where misusing fentanyl turns out to be fatal.

Some of the signs of a fentanyl overdose can include confusion, choking sounds, throwing up, seizures, low blood pressure, blue tinted lips or nails, pinpoint pupils, seizures, a slowed heart rate and excessive drowsiness. Fentanyl overdoses can also lead to breathing problems, slow, shallow breathing, respiratory arrest, and death.

So, does Narcan work on fentanyl? Yes, it does, but there are some things to keep in mind. While Narcan can work on fentanyl overdoses, these situations often happen extremely quickly, so it can be tough to act quickly enough.

Also, according to the CDC, multiple doses of naloxone may be required following a fentanyl overdose because of how potent it is in comparison to other opioids. This can be especially true when someone takes heroin or other drugs that are laced with fentanyl.

It’s important to realize that Narcan doesn’t work on overdoses caused by drugs that aren’t opioids, so if someone were to overdose on something like Xanax laced with fentanyl, the effects of only the fentanyl overdose would be reversed with the naloxone. However, medical professionals recommend still trying naloxone to reverse an overdose.

So, yes Narcan does work on fentanyl, but multiple doses may be needed, and it needs to happen quickly.

There are programs underway to make naloxone available more easily, especially as the opioid epidemic rages on and continues to become more problematic and lead to more deaths.

Does Narcan Work on Fentanyl?
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