Today, I’m discussing and answering the question, “What is Nalexone Nasal Spray?”
Narcan is a brand name medication which is indicated for the treatment for substance use and abuse disorders.
The generic name for Narcan is Nalexone. It is what is commonly dispensed in community pharmacy settings, or in an emergency setting by a first responder.
Nalexone is a (one of many) treatment option for those folks who are struggling with an addiction to the opioid class of medications.
Opioids are controlled substances, and in this case, opioids which are used illegally, without being under a doctors or credentialed medical professionals care, and therefore without the obtainment of a hard copy prescription from said medical professional.
If you are a person who needs Nalexone Nasal Spray or if you know someone who needs it, it is probably safe to say that you or your friend is “in crisis”. You or they need help, and fast.
How does Nalexone work?
To get more clarity, Nalexone is only an overdose remedy. And while it does reverse the potentially deadly effects of an opioid overdose, it is not a long-term solution. However, in light of that, if someone is overdosing, it very likely Nalexone Nasal Spray can or will save that person's life, as long as it is administered ASAP after an overdose or suspected overdose.
In the USA, we are in a widespread opioid crisis and epidemic. Simply turn on your flatscreen TV, or turn on YoutubeTV on your mobile device or laptop. Tune into your local news channel.
Everywhere you look, our news media often reports on it, and hopefully, increased awareness sheds light on this devastating social, cultural, economic, familial, and societal problem.
It is safe to say that it if you look for information about it, you will probably find more than enough evidence which will tell you this: “America is in a widespread, overwhelming, devastating Opioid crisis. Help is needed immediately.”
Anyway, back to answering the question! How does the drug work already?
The most common method of administration of this drug, is by way of nasal spray (as previously stated).
What is the dose? The dose of the nasal spray is either 2mg or 4mg.
The initial recommended dose is One Spray in One Nostril, Once.
Another route of administration is as an intramuscular (IM) injection. This would be done into a muscle area, such as the thigh or an arm.
“If someone awakes from an overdose only to become unresponsive again, more Narcan doses may be administered. However, it’s important to note that repeated doses of the drug cannot take the place of emergency care. If someone overdoses on opioids, it’s essential to call 911 immediately, no matter how many Narcan doses are administered.”
The great folks over at therecoveryvilliage.com have said it most eloquently and said it best. Call 911 or your closest hospital emergency department and get some EMTs or emergency professionals out to your location ASAP. Don’t waste another second.
How does Naloxone work in a human body?
When someone has or is overdosing, they are in respiratory distress. The way Naloxone works is to reverse the effects of the drug that caused the overdose, and it works to reverse respiratory depression.
Septic shock is defined by the folks over at Merck as “a clinical syndrome of life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated response to infection. Treatment is aggressive fluid resuscitation, antibiotics, surgical excision of infected or necrotic tissue and drainage of pus, and supportive care.” Source: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/critical-care-medicine/sepsis-and-septic-shock/sepsis-and-septic-shock
While this definition is probably more for folks who are dealing with post-surgical complications, it also has application for drug overdose situations.
The last question I’d like to answer is this: How do those who are dealing with substance use and abuse, get the help they need to get better, to get well, so they can go on living and loving, and contributing to society?
This is a huge question. I feel overwhelmed to even try to answer this, because I am only one person, with a website, I am only one voice.
The Substance Use and Mental Health Services Administration, which is part of the US Department of Health and Human Services, offers anyone and everyone a phone number to call. This number is: 1-800-662-HELP (4357). That is probably a very good first step for you to take, or for you to take in order to get someone you care about some help.
What will happen when you call that number? Well, they are a referral service. It is free of charge. They will refer you to your whatever resources are available in your location, in your state. If you don’t have insurance, there are a lot of state-funded programs, and you or your loved one can get the help you need. Maybe Insurance can be set up for you as well, who knows. But the first step is to call that number above. They will hook you up and help you or your loved one get better and get control of life again. We can’t do this alone. YOU are NOT alone. Many people have walked this road before you, and many will walk this road after you. YOU matter. EVERY life MATTERS.
Finally, as this is in fact a website geared towards putting resources for pharmacy techs in your hands (or on your phone, mobile device, tablet, laptop, or computer) I’d like to discuss how the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) helps pharmacies in the US fight addiction and substance misuse and abuse. The NABP has a program called AWARxE, and one of the goals of this program is to help ensure safe families and communities.
The AWARxE program initiative has a four-pronged purpose and desired outcome:
“Buy Medication Safely – purchase medication safely online
Use and Store Medication Safely – tips and facts for all ages
Prevent Medication Abuse – what you should know
Dispose of Medication Safely – find a disposal location”
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This page discusses, "How Does Nalexone Nasal Spray Help an Overdose Victim?"
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