What is naloxone?
Naloxone is a medication used to rapidly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Naloxone works by blocking the effects of opioids, including heroin, fentanyl, and prescription opioid medications. Naloxone is available in different formulations, the most common being naloxone nasal spray.
Do I need a prescription to get naloxone?
A prescription is no longer required to obtain nasal naloxone spray. Over-the-counter (OTC) NARCAN®, a name brand naloxone 4mg nasal spray product, is now available for purchase in stores and through reputable online retailers. Stores may keep OTC Narcan® with other OTC medications for sale or they may keep it behind the pharmacy counter. Talk with your local pharmacist about OTC naloxone if you are unable to find it.
While a prescription is no longer required, you may still be able to get naloxone at a local pharmacy pursuant to the State Health Commissioner's standing order. The standing order serves as a prescription written for the general public, rather than specifically for an individual. The standing order allows pharmacy staff to submit a claim to your pharmacy insurance carrier to cover some, or all, of the cost of naloxone. It is up to each individual pharmacy to decide whether to dispense naloxone under the statewide standing order. Please contact your pharmacy before visiting.
Is naloxone free?
OTC Narcan® nasal spray naloxone can be purchased in a 2-pack at local retailers or online for $44.99.
Prescription naloxone may be available at your local pharmacy pursuant to the State Health Commissioner’s Standing Order. Some insurance plans may pay some portion of the cost, but coverage varies widely.
For more information, please see our frequently asked questions:
Where can I get naloxone?
VDH is prioritizing high-priority individuals to receive no-cost naloxone. High priority individuals include people who use drugs (PWUD), family members, friends or coworkers of PWUD and people who work directly with PWUD. VDH continues to support individuals who may not be at highest risk of experiencing or witnessing an opioid overdose by identifying alternative avenues for naloxone access.
Naloxone is accessible in a variety of ways. Below are several ways to access naloxone, either over-the-counter, at no-cost or at an out-of-pocket cost:
- Local Health Department: You may inquire with your local health department to see if you are eligible for no-cost naloxone.
- Local Retailers and Pharmacies: OTC Narcan® nasal spray naloxone is available for purchase at local retailers and pharmacies, in stores and online. Find a store near you using the Narcan® locator tool:
- Healthcare Provider: If you have a healthcare provider, you may discuss naloxone with them and they may issue a prescription for you take to a local pharmacy. There may be a cost to visit your healthcare provider and at the pharmacy for naloxone.
- Local Pharmacy: You may inquire with your local pharmacy to see if they will dispense naloxone to you pursuant to the State Health Commissioners Standing Order. There may be a cost at the pharmacy for naloxone.
- Community Service Boards: You may inquire with your local community service board to see if you are eligible for no-cost naloxone.