What is Naloxone?

Naloxone is an antidote for opioid overdose. In an overdose, opioids can cause difficulty breathing, sedation, and death. Naloxone is a medication that reverses these effects. Naloxone only works if opioids are present in the body, and has no effect if they are not. It does not work on other drugs or alcohol. Naloxone usually takes effect in 3 to 5 minutes and lasts 60 to 90 minutes.

Who Should Take Naloxone?

Naloxone should be given to someone experiencing an opioid overdose. Overdose death can occur over one to three hours. This gives time to take life saving actions. Overdose most often occurs when people take a large or increased amount of opioids, mix opioids with alcohol or other drugs, or have had recent changes in tolerance levels. If a person is not responding, not breathing, or is struggling to breathe, they may be experiencing an overdose and it is time to begin the steps of naloxone administration.