The US Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday gave the go-ahead for the first time for an over-the-counter form of the opioid antidote Narcan as drug overdose fatalities continue to linger around near record levels.

In the event that the individual who is overdosing does not react to the first dosage, the nasal spray will arrive in a box with two 4-milligram doses. The drug’s manufacturer, Emergent BioSolutions, claims that the majority of overdoses can be restored with a single dosage. Anyone, including young toddlers and infants, could use the substance.

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Cost and use-

By the end of the summer, Emergent BioSolutions anticipates that the nose mist will be offered for sale both offline and online. The pricing of the over-the-counter Narcan nasal spray is not yet known.

Narcan restores breathing by preventing the effects of opioids on the brain. It must be administered as soon as overdose warning signs show for maximum efficacy. Only when an individual has opiates in their blood does the medication take effect. If administered to someone who hasn’t taken opioids, it won’t have any negative effects but won’t help with any other form of a drug overdose.

Although opiates can linger in the system for longer, naloxone can stop an overdose for up to 90 minutes, so it’s still crucial to contact 911 after administering the medication.

Naloxone recipients should be kept under close observation for the next two hours after receiving the drug.

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Side effects

Hives, trouble breathing, and swelling of your cheeks, lips, tongue, or neck are all possible adverse effects of Narcan.

Since the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention started gathering that information two decades ago, more than a million individuals have passed away from narcotic overdoses. Opioids were blamed for many of those fatalities. According to the CDC, the number of opiate overdose deaths increased by more than 17% in just one year, from about 69,000 in 2020 to about 81,020 in 2021.

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The most common cause of unintentional mortality in the US is drug overdoses. The majority of deaths are in adults, but there are also some in minors, often as a result of taking synthetic opiates like fentanyl. The CDC discovered that between 1999 and 2016, nearly 9,000 children and teenagers perished from opioid poisoning, with rates among those between the ages of 15 and 19 being the greatest annually.