Non-Prescription Nasal Spray Fights Narcotics Overdose

Monday, September 14th 2015, 7:24 pm
By: News On 6

Anyone in Oklahoma can help save the life of someone who overdoses on painkillers or heroin. A new law allows you to buy the life-saving nasal spray voe the counter and give it to anyone who overdoses.

I've done lots of stories on how officers are carrying this nasal spray and if they get to a scene of an overdose, can save someone's life. Now, anyone can get this spray without a prescription.

Narcan - or the generic Naloxone -  is easy to administer.  The spray knocks the opioids off the receptor in the brain so if a person has stopped breathing because of an overdose, it can bring them back. They will still need medical care.

Economy Pharmacy stocks hundreds of the kits at its two Tulsa and two Muskogee locations. They say some doctors are even requiring patients who take a lot of pain meds, to keep one on hand at home, just in case.

"It'll last for five minutes. If there is enough opioids still in their system, they could go into another overdose state so it's important to call 911 and get first responders on the way there," said Chris Schiller, Economy pharmacist.

"It's not like you go to the dentist and get 12 tablets, you need this, but people on high doses - like cancer patients - it's great to have it at home."

Anyone can get the nasal spray, and it's good for about a year before it expires. There's no  potential for anyone to abuse it, and if you use it on someone who was taking something else, it won't hurt them.

"If you administer it to someone who's not having an opioid overdose, it really does nothing," Schiller said.

 Prescription painkillers cause hundreds of unintentional drug overdoses every year in Oklahoma. Oklahoma has more people hooked on prescription painkillers than any other state, so state leaders hope making this nasal spray available to anyone who wants it, over the counter, will help change that.

Each kit costs $60, but insurance will sometimes cover the cost of the drug itself, so the rest of the kit costs $35. Some say that is a small price to pay to save a life.