Naloxone can temporarily stop the effects of opioids and help a person start breathing again. Naloxone only works on opioids and will have no effect on someone who has taken a different substance. You can give naloxone to someone using an injection or nasal spray.

Is Naloxone Safe?

Yes, naloxone is a safe medication that works to reverse an opioid overdose. Use naloxone even if you’re not sure what kind of drugs someone took.

Where Can I Get Naloxone?

In Washington State, anyone can obtain naloxone at retail pharmacies, even if you don’t have a prescription from a doctor. The Washington State Standing Order allows pharmacies to dispense naloxone in lieu of a prescription from a primary care provider. 

How Does Naloxone Work?

Naloxone reverses an opioid overdose by blocking the opioid receptors in the brain. This is a temporary effect and can last between 30 and 90 minutes. After giving someone naloxone, it may take a few minutes to work. If a first dose of naloxone does not work after about 3 minutes, give a second dose.

You should give naloxone to anyone who has taken drugs and may be overdosing. Someone who is overdosing may stop breathing or their breathing may be slow and labored. Act fast! An overdose is life threatening. Give naloxone even if you do not know what kind of drugs a person took. Naloxone will only work on opioids, but there is no harm if they took a different kind of drug.