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CVS Health® expands access to life-saving medication naloxone by offering over-the-counter NARCAN® Nasal Spray

September 1, 2023 |2 minute read time

A hand holding a red NARCAN Nasal Spray box

Following FDA approval, CVS Pharmacy® is now offering over-the-counter naloxone, brand name NARCAN® Nasal Spray, at more than 7,500 locations nationwide, making it easy to purchase the safe and effective antidote to opioid overdoses.

What is naloxone?

Naloxone is a life-saving medication that can reverse an overdose from opioids—including heroin, fentanyl, and prescription opioid medications—when given in time (CDC). Naloxone is available in multiple formulations, both over the counter and through the pharmacy without an individual prescription, making it easier for caregivers, concerned loved ones, first responders and patients to get naloxone. CVS Health® is dedicated to increasing access for those who would benefit from having on hand during an emergency.

Who should carry naloxone?

Anyone can purchase and/or carry naloxone to help respond to an overdose. It is not just for people with an opioid or other substance use disorder. Having naloxone available allows bystanders to help save lives by preventing a fatal opioid overdose.

Carrying naloxone simply provides an extra layer of protection for those at a higher risk for opioid overdose.

What are the side effects of naloxone? Can it be harmful?

Naloxone is a safe medication with no abuse potential. Some people may experience withdrawal symptoms when they wake up after being given naloxone such as sweating, nausea, or feeling anger. This is to be expected.

Naloxone won’t harm someone if they’re overdosing on opioids or other drugs, so it’s always best to use it if you think someone is overdosing.

Where to get OTC NARCAN® Nasal Spray

NARCAN® Nasal Spray is available over the counter at CVS Pharmacy, without a prescription, in all states, and Washington D.C. To purchase NARCAN® Nasal Spray at CVS Pharmacy, simply ask a front store or pharmacy team member. Once you get NARCAN® Nasal Spray, put it in an easily accessible place, tell your family and friends where it is, and learn how to use it. For customers who wish to have added privacy, CVS Pharmacy offers NARCAN® Nasal Spray delivery or buy online and pick-up in store at and in the CVS Pharmacy app.

Our pharmacists are here to help

Customers are encouraged to get NARCAN® Nasal Spray at the pharmacy counter so our pharmacy teams can check a patient’s insurance plan for potential savings on naloxone products. All CVS pharmacists are trained on how naloxone works and can also provide education and counsel to patients prior to purchase, and our colleagues are provided procedures on how to respond if an overdose occurs.

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