Naloxone Information

Naloxone is a medication that counteracts the effects of opioids. If administered correctly, it can be used to reverse an overdose within minutes. Naloxone is a lifesaving medication.

What Is Naloxone?

Naloxone is a prescription medication. You may have heard of it referred to as its brand name, Narcan.

Naloxone is an antidote medication for opioids. This means that it can reverse the effects of opioid medications like heroin and pain killers including during an overdose.

Naloxone is a safe medication with no abuse potential. Anyone can legally administer Naloxone PA State Law Act 139. You do not have to be a healthcare professional.

Naloxone is available by prescription or without a prescription from pharmacies with a standing order to dispense it. A standing order means that you can purchase naloxone directly without the need for a prescription.

The administration of naloxone to someone who is not actually having an overdose will not endanger them.

Where Can I Get Naloxone?

You can get naloxone without a prescription from many pharmacies in Allegheny County.

Your doctor can also give you a prescription for naloxone that you can take to your pharmacy. Call to check for availability as not all pharmacies carry it.

After the passage of PA Act 139, Allegheny County Health Department Director Dr. Karen Hacker issued a county-wide standing order that allows pharmacies to dispense naloxone directly to individuals at risk of an overdose or those who are likely to witness an overdose.

How Is Naloxone Given?

Naloxone is administered in one of three ways. It can be (1) injected into a vein or muscle (even through clothing), (2) sprayed into the nose, or (3) administered via auto-injector, which includes voice instructions. Your pharmacist can provide detailed instructions on how to administer naloxone. Note that Health Department Director Dr. Karen Hacker’s standing order for naloxone only applies to methods (2) and (3), into the nose or via auto-injector, respectively.

How Much Does Naloxone Cost?

The exact cost of naloxone depends on your insurance plan. Most insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare cover the cost of the naloxone, but it may vary by plan. Check with your pharmacist regarding your specific coverage.

There are also low cost options available if you are uninsured or unable to pay. The Allegheny County Health Department Immunization Clinic offers intra-nasal naloxone kits for sale at cost. Please call 412-578-8060 for current pricing.

Prevention Point Pittsburgh also offers injectable naloxone kits (intra-muscular only) at no cost. Call 412-247-3404 for more information.