FDA nods to Narcan nasal spray-used to stop opioid overdose

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Narcan nasal spray on Wednesday. Narcan is the first FDA-approved nasal spray version of naloxone hydrochloride.

It is described as a life-saving medication that can stop or reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Opioids are a class of drugs that include prescription medications such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine, as well as the illegal drug heroin.

When someone overdoses on an opioid, it can be difficult to awaken the person who might die if there is no medical intervention. If naloxone is administered quickly, it can counter the overdose effects, usually within two minutes.

The use of Narcan nasal spray in patients who are opioid dependent may result in severe opioid withdrawal characterized by body aches, diarrhea, increased heart rate (tachycardia), fever, runny nose, sneezing, goose bumps (piloerection), sweating, yawning, nausea or vomiting, nervousness, restlessness or irritability, shivering or trembling, abdominal cramps, weakness, and increased blood pressure.

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