Naloxone (Narcan) takes effect almost immediately, but some people need two or three minutes to start breathing normally again.
Narcan is administered intranasally by spraying it into the nose, but it can also be taken by mouth or injected.
As soon as you give naloxone, call 9-1-1 and tell the operator that the person you're helping has overdosed. Follow the operator's instructions carefully.
Narcan is a brand-name medication containing the opioid antagonist Naloxone, which turns off opioid receptors.
Naloxone binds more strongly and quickly to the opioid receptors in our brain than opioids. It can quickly reverse the deadly effects of an opioid overdose, particularly sedation and respiratory depression. This makes Narcan a powerful reversal agent in acute overdose.
If the medication isn't working and the person you're trying to help is not responding, call 911. The operator can tell you what to do next.
Typically, if the person doesn't wake up within about three minutes of the first Narcan dose, the operator will tell you to give a second dose. It's safe to give multiple doses of Narcan, and if the person has taken heavy doses of opioids, they may need multiple doses.
If the second (or third) dose doesn't work, the operator may tell you to start CPR. To do this:
Repeat CPR until help arrives, and stay on the line with the 911 operator the entire time.
Bystanders are present in more than one in three opioid overdoses. If you think someone has taken too much, you could save that person's life.
If you think someone is experiencing an opioid overdose, you should do the following:
If you know someone with an opioid use disorder, make sure you obtain a prescription for Narcan, or purchase it over the counter. Make sure you carry it with you and know how to use it. Narcan can save a life.