CVS Health expands access to life-saving medication naloxone by offering over-the-counter NARCAN

Following FDA approval, CVS Pharmacy® is now offering over-the-counter (OTC) naloxone, brand name NARCAN®, at more than 7,500 locations nationwide, making it easier and more discrete than ever to purchase the safe and effective antidote to opioid overdoses.

What is naloxone?

Available in multiple formulations both over-the-counter and through the pharmacy without an individual prescription, naloxone works by blocking or reversing the effects of opioids. This makes it easier for caregivers, concerned loved ones, first responders and patients to get naloxone. CVS Health® is dedicated to increasing access for those who would benefit from having naloxone on hand during an emergency.

Who should carry naloxone?

If you or someone you know is at increased risk for opioid overdose, especially those struggling with opioid use disorder (OUD), you should carry naloxone and keep it at home. Because you can’t use naloxone on yourself, let others know you have it in case you experience an opioid overdose.

Carrying naloxone is no different than carrying an epinephrine auto-injector (commonly known by the brand name EpiPen) for someone with allergies. It simply provides an extra layer of protection for those at a higher risk for overdose.

What are the side effects of naloxone? Can it be harmful?

Naloxone is a safe medication with no abuse potential. Side effects, beyond the opioid withdrawal some people experience, are rare.

Where to get OTC NARCAN®

OTC NARCAN® is available over-the-counter at CVS Pharmacy, without a prescription, in all states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. To purchase OTC NARCAN® at CVS Pharmacy, simply ask a front store or pharmacy team member. Once you get OTC NARCAN®, put it in an easily accessible place, tell your family and friends where it is, and learn how to use it. For customers who wish to have added privacy, CVS Pharmacy offers OTC NARCAN® delivery or buy online and pick-up in store at and in the CVS Pharmacy app.

Our pharmacists are here to help

Customers are encouraged to get OTC NARCAN® at the pharmacy counter so our pharmacy teams can check a patient’s insurance plan for potential savings on naloxone products. All CVS pharmacists are trained on how naloxone works and can also provide education and counsel to patients prior to purchase, and our colleagues are provided procedures on how to respond if an overdose occurs.

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