Of all the opioid overdose prevention treatments in existence, it has been proven that Naloxone is the only effective opiate overdose treatment medication in the market, particularly the one found in the Narcan kits and sprays. If you’re unsure about the procedure to follow during a drug crisis episode or opioid overdose, read below and check how can you apply any kind of Naloxone medication to rapidly reverse the opioid toxicity and learn the signs of opiate addiction.
What is Naloxone?
As a brief summary, Naloxone is a potent opioid antagonist which can bind to opioid receptors and block their effects. It’s a safe drug: it can restore normal respiration rather quickly during an overdose and tranquilize the affected person.
Right now, there are three FDA-approved Naloxone formulations: injectable, auto-injectable and nasal spray. The first two are self-explanatory, the only difference being that the first one requires professional training in order to be administered while the second one usually comes in the form of EVZIO, a domestic-designed prefilled auto-injection device that helps families and/or emergency personnel to inject Naloxone during an opioid toxicity emergency.The nasal spray, on the other hand, comes in a prefilled, needle-free device called NARCAN Nasal Spray. What does NARCAN do to the body, though? As you can imagine, it’s not hard to assume how NARCAN works: it sprays Naloxone into the nose and helps the patient recover from their drug crisis slowly, but surely. If you don’t know how to administer NARCAN, you just have to spray a little bit of spray in one nostril while the patient lies on the back.
How to Administer Naloxone?
As we said, Naloxone injections can only be used by paramedics and other trained medical responders. However, you don’t need to be an expert in order to administer the other two options. As long as you know how to administer NARCAN and EVZIO on time, they can work as effectively as a professionally-administered injection.
Some states require Naloxone prescription in an outpatient setting and the dose varies according to the formulation. However, most cases call for only one dose to help a person recover his breath. You have to read carefully the application instructions in the package of both EVZIO and NARCAN before applying anything, though.
Once the Naloxone has been administered, patients must remain under observation for two hours until the emergency services arrive.
What are the Side Effects?
Although Naloxone is overall safe, it’s possible that it can cause uncomfortable, yet not life-threatening withdrawal symptoms on the patients. These include headaches, blood pressure changes, rapid heart rate, sweating, nausea and tremors when dealing with opiate addiction treatment.
As you can see, opiate overdose prevention measures can be taken at home and you don’t have to rush to the hospital if you ever encounter a person suffering opioid toxicity. An auto injection is a very effective way, but as long as you know how to administer NARCAN nasal sprays, you’re good to go until professional emergency services arrive to your household and help you with the toughest part of the job.