Opinion: Making naloxone available over the counter won’t solve the overdose crisis — but it will help

The increased visibility that OTC status would provide naloxone would help normalize this medication and reduce the social stigma people may experience when buying it.

The Food and Drug Administration aims to conduct priority reviews of at least two product applications for granting over-the-counter status to intranasal formulations of naloxone, an overdose-reversal drug.

Naloxone prevents overdose deaths by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and blocking entry to competing opioids, or pushing them aside. The drug is sold in three versions: vials of injectable naloxone, auto-injectors (similar to EPIPENs) and as an intranasal spray.

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