How Does Narcan Work?
How does Narcan work, and what is Narcan used for? Narcan is an antagonist of opioid receptors that are found in the brain, nervous and digestive systems. In general, antagonists reverse and block the effects of opioids by directly competing against opioids that bind to opioid receptors.
Upon being sprayed into the nasal cavity of an individual who is overdosing from opioid use, Narcan rapidly begins working. Heavy opioid use causes decreased or stopped breathing, and Narcan restores these to normal levels and can save people who are overdosing
Narcan Dose Information
What is the typically administered dose of Narcan? Narcan nasal spray comes in 4 mg doses of naloxone hydrochloride in a 0.1 ml spray. The half-life of Narcan, or how long it takes for half of the drug to leave a person’s system, is approximately 60 minutes. With this half-life, the effects of Narcan will last for only a few hours after it is administered intranasally.
Narcan is not known to have any serious side effects for individuals who have not taken opioids or who were suspected (but not confirmed) of an overdose. In the event that it is accidentally sprayed up a person’s nasal cavity, it generally causes no harm. Narcan only works at blocking opioid signaling for anyone taking opioids or actively overdosing from opioids.