Narcan is Now Available Over-the-Counter, Kinney Drugs President says this could Save Lives
The overdose antidote drug, Narcan, is now available over-the-counter, which will allow people to be better prepared to administer it quickly.
In the past, Narcan was only available to persons in emergency situations from pharmacists, according to John Muraffa, Kinney Drugs President. He said sometimes pharmacists at Kinney Drugs were administering the drug, or it was being given to an overdose victim in their parking lot.
Now, over-the-counter doses of Narcan, also known by its generic term, naloxone, can be bought as a precaution.
“I think about college aged kids (and) parents of college aged kids. I think about concert goers, anybody that's going to be in an environment where something could happen. It's (Narcan) almost like an EpiPen where you never want to use it, but you always want to have it. You really want to have the emergency protection available in your pocket or somewhere close to you in case something were to happen. I think a lot of people do need to have this in their medicine cabinets,” said Muraffa.
As a pharmacist himself, Muraffa said overdoses can happen from both drug abuse and accidents. Accidents may occur among people who have opioid painkillers and don’t follow instructions on their use, according to Muraffa.
He said Narcan is easy to administer for a person in crisis and has the potential to help save lives.
“It's supposed to revive a patient if a patient were to either overdose or accidentally overdose. Anybody can administer Narcan to another individual. It's used to remove the opioid from the opioid receptors in an individual's body,” said Muraffa.
Interestingly, Muraffa suggested the use of Narcan and its generic counterpart naloxone can be a step toward treating addiction problems.
“When you think about all of the different levers that everybody is trying to pull to reduce the use of opioids and the addiction to opioids, I think Narcan is one of those resources. Is it the magic bullet? No, because it's a treatment for an overdose. Again, I think it's just one, it's another avenue, another accessibility point for a patient, for a caregiver to have to kind of close the circle on the prevention, use (and) treatment of opioids,” said Muraffa.
Examples of opioids include fentanyl, oxycodone, heroin, hydrocodone, codeine and morphine, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
Naloxone can be administered as a nasal spray or it can be injected into one’s muscle, under the skin or into the veins, according to NIDA.
Muraffa said he is proud that Kinney Drugs was first in the country to sell the lifesaving treatment since this new change.
He said as a pharmacist and as a father, he believed making Narcan available over-the-counter is the right thing to do.
In light of Narcan's new easy accessibility, persons took to social media sharing their stories on the importance of having Narcan in one's possession.
last year at lost lands i had to administer 3 doses of narcan on a girl who i thought was going to die in my arms. im pretty sure we saved her life. stock up on narcan and test strips now!!! you never know when you might need it— abbey (@bitchonabender) September 1, 2023
My daughter found a man who had ODd in her work parking lot last evening. She performed life saving procedures on him while waiting for EMTs.— It’s Me (@YouCaughtFeels) August 31, 2023
If you don’t already, PLEASE carry Narcan on you! Get it from your pharmacy or order it online at Kelley-Ross Pharmacy Group for free.
For more information on Narcan and how to administer it, visit https://narcan.com/.