How Does Naloxone Work?

how does naloxone work

How does Naloxone work? Naloxone is a drug that counteracts the effects of an opioid overdose temporarily. Medical professionals have been using it for decades. Recently, doctors and other people are using new forms of this medication, including nasal sprays.

What is Naloxone used for? Naloxone can help reverse overdose effects and be put in with buprenorphine to make Suboxone for help in recovery, as well.

While Naloxone can be highly effective, people who overdose on drugs must receive other services, too. For now, learning more about this drug can help you see how it works and what it is for.

Mechanisms Behind Naloxone

Many people want to know – how does Naloxone work? This medication connects with opioid receptors in a person’s brain to block effects from opioid drugs. When someone uses opioids, they can’t get the impact they would like, such as feeling good.

There can be some side effects when taking Naloxone. However, those side effects are worth it in exchange for the benefits people get when taking Naloxone.

Naloxone begins working in 2 to 5 minutes after administering it. It is crucial to have a naloxone kit available if you see someone overdosing on drugs.

Types of Naloxone Available

According to the FDA, there are some types of naloxone people can use in various scenarios. Some of the options that you may want to know about include:

  • Injection (only trained medical professionals should use it)
  • Auto-injectable (inject into the thigh and anyone can use this option)
  • Nasal spray or Narcan (needle-free and anyone can administer it)

The nasal spray is the easiest to administer. It is also best for people who can’t stand seeing needles. If you need to help someone who is overdosing on drugs but you can’t stand using needles, the nasal spray would be most effective.

Naloxone Side Effects

While Naloxone is a safe medication, it can still cause some side effects. Most of the side effects will mimic opioid withdrawal. The reason for this is because this medication reverses the effects of opioids.

Some of the side effects everyone should be aware of include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pains
  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Body aches
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Physical weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Runny nose
  • Goosebumps
  • Chills
  • Watery eyes
  • Fever
  • Blood pressure, breathing, and heart rate changes
  • Excessive yawning
  • Sneezing

If you administer Naloxone to someone via injection, an infection or allergic reaction could arise at the site. Some symptoms of these issues would be redness, pain, burning, flushing, hives, hot flashes or sweating.

Impacts of Naloxone on the Opioid Epidemic

Most adults know about the opioid epidemic that is raging throughout the United States in recent years. The government approved the Good Samaritan laws in all states except for 6 of them. These laws allow the use of Naloxone by a third party such as caregivers, friends and family members. If you see someone overdosing on drugs, you can administer Naloxone.

Some people believe that if more Naloxone is available, more people will abuse drugs. The truth is that Naloxone has been available to save many lives. It is well worth any risks associated with its use.

According to the World Health Organization or WHO, about 69,000 people have a fatal opioid overdose each year. Due to these results, WHO recommends that people have Naloxone in their homes in case someone overdoses. You may also want to carry this medication on you if someone you love or care about overdoses in public.

Getting Help for Opioid Addiction

Naloxone is one of the many medications people can receive if they have an opioid addiction. Mainly, someone administers it when a loved one or friend overdoses on opioids. However, it is also given with buprenorphine to create Suboxone. Many rehab center professionals use Suboxone to help their patients overcome addiction.

In addition to Naloxone, there are other ways to get help for opioid addiction. You can enroll in an inpatient program, PHP, medication-assisted treatment or various outpatient programs. Many factors will determine the best option for you. The severity of your addiction is one of the main factors to consider. If you don’t know a lot about the different treatment options, don’t be afraid to ask someone for help. Many medical and rehab center professionals can give you any information you need regarding these programs.

If you were the one to overdose on opioids and realized you need treatment, you can contact rehab center professionals today. We can talk to you more about how Naloxone works and what treatments are best for opioid addiction.

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