NARCAN® Nasal Spray efficacy for emergency treatment of opioid overdose


Key take-home messages
  • The administration of ready-to-use, needle-free concentrated NARCAN® Nasal Spray (containing 4mg of naloxone hydrochloride in low volume of 0.1 mL) results in pharmacokinetic parameters that either equal or exceed those observed following the intramuscular dose of naloxone (0.4 mg).
  • According to a pharmacokinetic study preceding the regulatory approval of NARCAN® Nasal Spray, the maximum plasma concentration obtained after intranasal administration of a naloxone hydrochloride between 2 mg and 8 mg is dose-proportional, exceeds the maximum concentration produced by the 0.4 mg intramuscular dose of naloxone, and is independent of delivery to either one or both nostrils.
  • At the earliest time sampled (2.5 minutes), plasma naloxone concentrations after intranasal administration of 2 mg to 8 mg are higher than following the 0.4 mg intramuscular dose which may be advantageous for reversing respiratory depression in opioid overdose.
  • There are no differences in the safety profile of NARCAN® Nasal Spray compared to the intramuscular injection of naloxone.


The Ontario HIV Treatment Network: Rapid Response Service




  • Population(s)
    • People who use drugs
  • Prevention
    • Drug use behaviours/harm reduction


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