As part of the continued efforts to curb the opioid epidemic, naloxone, a drug used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, is now available without a prescription in some states.
Naloxone, and the brand-name version, Narcan, are both used to rapidly reverse the symptoms of a deadly opioid overdose. Brand-name Narcan is dispensed as an easy-to-use nasal spray, while the more affordable generic version, naloxone, is dispensed as a syringe to be injected into the thigh or buttock. With minimal training, family members or concerned bystanders can safely administer these lifesaving drugs.
People who take prescription painkillers for acute or chronic pain should keep Narcan or naloxone on hand, and now it’s easy to do so without having to get a prescription from your doctor first.
How can I get naloxone without a prescription?
At present, you can go directly to select pharmacy counters and purchase naloxone without a prescription. Policies will vary depending on the pharmacy you visit:
- CVS: According to CVS’s website, Naloxone is available without a prescription at most CVS pharmacies. Read here for the full list of applicable states.
- Walmart & Sam’s Club: As part of a larger initiative to combat opioid abuse, Walmart and Sam’s Club will dispense naloxone without a prescription in all states where state law allows them to do so. In their press release, Walmart does not specify which states apply, so be sure to call your pharmacy to see if they honor this policy.
- Kroger: Naloxone is available without a prescription in all Kroger stores.
- Walgreens: Naloxone is available without a prescription in over 8,000 Walgreens pharmacies. Read the press release here for the full list of applicable states.
- Rite Aid: Rite Aid offers naloxone without a prescription at all of its pharmacies in 19 states. See the press release here for the full list of applicable states.
If you don’t see your pharmacy on the list above, be sure to call your pharmacist to see if you can still get naloxone without a prescription.
How much does naloxone cost?
One syringe of brand-name Narcan can cost well over $150, but it is typically covered by health insurance. According to Narcan’s website, the lifesaving drug is covered by 95% of all plans. While coverage level differs between plans, 81% of insured individuals will have a co-pay of $20 or less for one fill. Additionally, one syringe of generic naloxone can be purchased for around $30 at most pharmacies with a GoodRx coupon.
If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid abuse, there are resources that can help.
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