Frequently Asked Questions About Narcan

Naloxone, commonly known by the brand name Narcan, is an emergency medication used to treat opioid overdose. It has gained traction and notary as an antidote for those experiencing a heroin or prescription painkiller overdose. As the opioid crisis carries on across the United States, so does media attention around Narcan. It is increasingly stocked in police departments, schools and even homes to combat drug overdose.

With such widespread use, it’s important to understand the side effects and uses for Narcan. As an opioid antagonist, Narcan helps nullify overdose effects by reversing the central nervous system depression caused by opioids. Narcan is administered as a nasal spray, while other versions of naloxone are injectable. No matter how the antidote is administered, it is important to seek immediate medical attention following a narcotic overdose episode. Many life-threatening symptoms may persist. For many, a drug overdose can springboard a recovery journey that starts with Narcan and transitions to medical detox.

While Narcan and other forms of naloxone can save lives, they should not be used as a fool-proof back up. Like any medication, Narcan can include side effects, especially if taken following a severe overdose. Review our frequently asked questions about Narcan to learn more.