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The recent increase in deaths due to overdose of heroin and prescription opioids in the US has renewed interest in the opioid antagonist naloxone, particularly in making it available to first responders and to relatives and close friends of persons using heroin or taking prescription opioids. IV or IM administration by healthcare professionals is preferred, but peripheral venous access may be difficult to obtain in IV drug abusers, and exposure to their blood may be hazardous.
The FDA has now approved an intranasal formulation of naloxone (Narcan nasal spray – Adapt) for emergency treatment of opioid overdose. It is the first nasal spray to be approved for this indication, but naloxone solution has been administered intranasally off-label, using a mucosal atomizer device.1 The drug also recently became available in an auto-injector formulation (Evzio) for IM or SC... more