Intranasal naloxone

Due to the current crisis regarding overdose deaths across the western Pennsylvania region, please be advised that the antidote Naloxone for opioid overdose is now available through all CVS Pharmacies without need for a prescription.  


Naloxone and CVS


All CVS Pharmacies across Pennsylvania are now dispensing the antidote Naloxone WITHOUT the need for a doctor’s prescription.  This news is important for any family member addicted to prescription opioid pain medications and/or heroin users. Obtaining this medication is as simple as going to a CVS drug store pharmacy and requesting it.  The pharmacist will supply 2 doses of Naloxone in the nasal spray form.  Instructions for use are included.  The cost without insurance is $42.  The UPMC insurance plan does cover this prescription.  It is possible that other insurance policies do as well.  


What is Naloxone?


Naloxone is an antidote for opioid overdose that reverses the effects opioids can cause including preventing the death of the user.  Naloxone only works if opioids are present in the body, and has no effect if they are not.  It does not work on alcohol or other drugs.  Naloxone usually takes effect in 3 to 5 minutes and lasts 60 to 90 minutes.  Naloxone should be given to someone experiencing an opioid overdose as soon as possible as death can occur over 1 to 3 hours.  Giving this medication quickly gives time to take life saving actions such as calling 911.


Examples of Opioids




Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Norco)

Oxycodone (Percocet, Oxycontin)

Oxymorphone (Opana)

Fentanyl (Duragesic)

Buprenorphine (Subutex)




The Pennsylvania Alliance for Safe and Drug Free Children highly recommends that every family suffering with a loved one’s drug use/addiction and every high school and college institution keep this life saving antidote on hand. In doing so, it could potentially save a life.