What You Need to Know about Naloxone

As of August 28, 2017, anyone can get naloxone at a Missouri pharmacy without a prescription. Naloxone is a life-saving medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reverse the toxic effects of an overdose by opioids.* Naloxone should be administered when a patient is showing signs of opioid overdose.

*Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine and morphine. Naloxone is available as a generic drug or under the brand name NARCAN®.

The primary goal of the Missouri Overdose Rescue and Education (MORE) project is to reduce opioid-involved deaths in Missouri through training, education, and distribution of naloxone to first responders in rural regions of the state.

Getting Naloxone from a Pharmacy

  1. Call ahead to the pharmacy to ensure it's in stock - requests for naloxone can be made if the pharmacy does not have it currently in stock.
  2. Ask to speak with the pharmacist. Naloxone is a prescription drug, so it won't be available on the retail shelf with "over-the-counter" medications like aspirin.
  3. Mention the Statewide Standing Order (PDF), authorized by Dr. George Turabelidze, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. The Statewide Standing Order allows pharmacists to dispense naloxone to anyone without a paper or electronic prescription.
  4. Talk to the pharmacist about how to recognize an opioid overdose, administer naloxone, and which product is right for you. The Statewide Standing Order covers generic naloxone and NARCAN® Nasal Spray. Insurance plans may not cover every naloxone product, so ask the pharmacist or call your insurance company’s customer service number for more information.