What you should know about the anti-opioid drug naloxone.

July 27, 2018

What is naloxone?

Naloxone is a highly effective antidote for opioid and opiate overdose, such as heroin. It is used in life-saving circumstances. It is most often injected, but is beginning to be used nasally.

Simply put, heroin and other opiates can slow down and stop breathing. Naloxone blocks this effect and reverses the breathing difficulties.

Can you get naloxone over the counter?

Although naloxone is not sold over the counter at a pharmacy, it is possible to get a prescription for it from your GP. It can also be supplied to use in an emergency through local authority drug services.

There are even guides as to how to administer naloxone online (links to Vice also have a video on how to inject it.

Successful uses of naloxone

There have been several cases where the use of naloxone has been used to save lives:

Although it was unclear what got her into an incapacitated state, singer Demi Lovato recovered when naloxone was used to stabilise her condition. Read more about it here (BBC).

(Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

On three occasions Karl Price overdosed, and naloxone was used to recover him. You can find out Karl’s full story here (BBC).


What are the side effects of naloxone?

As with many medicines, some people may experience side effects when using naloxone, these include:

  • Feeling or being sick
  • Tremor
  • Sweating
  • Over-breathing
  • Fast heart beat
  • Increased or decreased blood pressure
  • Fluid on the lungs
  • Fits

It’s important to remember that naloxone is not a treatment for heroin use, but it is used to counter-act the effect of an overdose.


One of the specialist services which can be accessible through the Dock is Uturn. Uturn is a drugs and alcohol abuse service providing support to young people and their families. Get in touch!


Phone: 01793 464662

Mobile: 07766368328

For more information on Uturn, click here.

Find more information on heroin and it’s treatments on the NHS website.

Any thoughts about naloxone? Why not let us know on our social media pages!

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