Naloxone is a medication used to reverse overdose effects of heroin and some opioid-based pain medications. It is commonly sold under the brand names Narcan and Evzio. Naloxone can be administered by nasal spray or by intramuscular (into the muscle), subcutaneous (under the skin) or intravenous injection.
Currently Naloxone is available without a prescription in 23 states including: Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Vermont and Wisconsin. In the remaining 27 states it is available by prescription to friends and family members of heroin or opioid addicts.
While Naloxone saves lives, it carries risks of side effects. These include chest pain, seizures, hives, trouble breathing, and face, lip and tongue swelling. Naloxone also puts the recipient into withdrawal which can cause vomiting, violent shaking, profuse sweating and burning in the hands and feet.