The opioid crisis is a complicated problem that requires many solutions. Scientists and health care professionals are working toward those solutions and saving lives. One result of their work is a medication called naloxone.
What is naloxone?
Naloxone is designed to rapidly reverse an opioid overdose. It needs to be administered (given) right away, which is why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved an easy-to-use nasal spray version. Naloxone also comes in an injectable syringe, which can be used by emergency medical workers.
How does it work?
A person who overdoses on an opioid (like a prescription pain medication, heroin, or fentanyl) experiences slower breathing—or stops breathing completely. In many cases, giving the person naloxone can immediately restore normal breathing.