Naloxone, often referred to by its brand name Narcan, can reverse an overdose and save a life.
Everybody knows somebody at risk for an overdose. Be prepared to save a life by having naloxone on-hand.
This website has information on how to access and use free naloxone in Iowa.
FDA Announces Shelf-Life Extension for
Naloxone Nasal Spray
The Food and Drug Administration is announcing that Emergent BioSolutions is extending the shelf-life of newly manufactured NARCAN (naloxone hydrochloride) 4 milligram (mg) nasal spray products from 3 years to 4 years. This action was taken at the request of the FDA and is the latest of multiple steps the agency has recently taken to prevent overdoses and reduce overdose-related deaths by expanding access to naloxone and other overdose reversal agents.
Applications NOW OPEN for Community Organizations to Distribute Naloxone
Iowa HHS is increasing naloxone access in Iowa communities by allowing organizations to hand out naloxone. Eligible organizations can now access and provide free opioid overdose reversal medications (naloxone) in their communities through two distribution initiatives. The two nasal spray naloxone medications available for distribution are NARCAN® 4mg and Kloxxado® 8mg.
Narcan Now Available Over-the-Counter
Narcan (4 mg nasal spray naloxone) is now available over-the-counter. At this time, the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (Iowa HHS) does not anticipate any changes to currently supported initiatives that provide free nasal spray versions of naloxone. In fact, Iowa HHS is currently working on new initiatives that will hopefully expand availability of free nasal spray naloxone. More information about these initiatives is coming soon!
FDA Approves Narcan Over-the-Counter
On March 29, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Narcan, the 4 mg naloxone nasal spray, for over-the-counter use. The manufacturer of Narcan, Emergent BioSolutions, is currently working on switching Narcan from prescription to OTC status. The exact date that Narcan will be available OTC is currently unknown, but officials are hopeful for a late Summer or early Fall release. Once this happens, pharmacies across the nation, including in Iowa, will need to develop protocols for making Narcan available in their pharmacy.
At this time, Narcan is the only version of naloxone approved by the FDA for OTC status, but it is expected that other naloxone nasal sprays will apply for OTC status. Please note, the State Opioid Response (SOR) grant will continue supporting established naloxone distribution initiatives in Iowa.
Narcan Expiration Dates
The FDA approves the extension of the shelf life of Narcan (naloxone HCL) Nasal Spray from 24 to 36 months. However, all products are still subject to the expiration dating printed on its specific package.
Pharmacy Dispensing Resources
In July 2020, the IDPH and the Iowa Board of Pharmacy announced that community pharmacies in Iowa may begin to submit electronic claims for reimbursement of NARCAN nasal spray. Pharmacies will be reimbursed 100% of the drug cost + a $20 dispensing fee. Learn more about Iowa's NARCAN Dispensing Program
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