How to administer Naloxone

Naloxone nasal spray:

  • Remove the nasal spray from the box. Peel back the tab with the circle to open it.
  • Do not prime or test the nasal spray. It contains a single dose of naloxone and cannot be reused.
  • Hold the nasal spray with your thumb on the bottom of the plunger and your first and middle fingers on either side of the nozzle.
  • Lay the overdose victim on their back. Support the victim's neck with your hand and allow the head to tilt back before giving this medicine.
  • Gently insert the tip of the nozzle into one nostril of the overdose victim until your fingers on either side of the nozzle are against the bottom of the nose.
  • Press the plunger firmly to give the dose.
  • Remove the nasal spray from the overdose victim's nostril after giving the dose.
  • Move the individual to their side (recovery position) after giving the medicine and get emergency medical help immediately.
  • Watch closely. You may also give additional doses to the patient every 2 to 3 minutes until the overdose victim responds or emergency medical assistance becomes available.

How to use injectable naloxone:

  • Use a long needle: 1 – 1 ½ inch (called an IM or intramuscular needle). Needle exchange programs and pharmacies have these needles.
  • Pop off the orange top vial.
  • Draw up 1 cc of naloxone into the syringe. 1cc = 1 mL = 100 u.
  • Inject into a muscle – thighs; upper, outer quadrant of the butt; or shoulder is best.
  • Inject straight in to make sure to hit the muscle.
  • If you don't have a long needle, a smaller needle is OK and you can inject under the skin - but if possible, it is better to inject into a muscle.
  • After injection, continue monitoring the victim's breathing for 2-3 minutes.
  • If the overdose victim is still not responding after 2-3 minutes of monitoring, administer another dose of naloxone and monitor for another 2-3 minutes.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention PDF: Reversing Opioid Overdoses

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