The overdose-reversing medication is now on track to become the first opioid treatment therapy to be sold without a prescription after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the sale of the brand-name drug without a prescription on Wednesday.
Though the exact effect won’t be noticeable immediately, it’s a step that some supporters have long desired to improve access to a life-saving medication.
The most popular naloxone formulation is the FDA-approved nasal spray made by Emergent BioSolutions, a company based in Gaithersburg, MD.
It can reverse opioid overdoses caused by illicit substances like heroin and fentanyl and prescribed opioids like oxycodone.
Expanding naloxone availability is viewed as a crucial tactic to manage the national overdose issue, which has been connected to more than 100,000 fatalities in the United States each year.
Most fatalities are related to opioids, potent synthetic varieties like fentanyl, which require multiple doses of naloxone to counteract.
Police and other first responders nationwide have a negative attitude toward the drug.
The people who are most likely to witness overdoses, such as drug users and their loved ones, should be given naloxone, according to advocates.
The National Council for Mental Wellbeing’s Chuck Ingoglia stated in a statement that the choice “represents a decisive, realistic and humane approach to help people and flatten the curve of overdose deaths.”