Skip Navigation LinksNaloxone


What is Naloxone?

WYNTK - Naloxone 1

This webpage will expire in 2023. Please see our new Overdose Prevention Initiative site and our new Naloxone webpage.

Naloxone is a medication that works almost immediately to reverse an opiate overdose. It has few known adverse effects, no potential for abuse, and can be given quickly with nasal spray or by injecting it into a muscle.

Who can give Naloxone?

While most professional first responders and emergency departments are equipped with naloxone, they may not arrive in time to revive overdose victims. Trained and prepared bystanders such as friends, family and other non-health care providers (lay people), including people who use drugs, can also help reverse an opioid overdose. Naloxone is covered by Medi-Cal, Medicare, and many other health plans. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about a prescription for naloxone. Naloxone is also available from Syringe Services Programs in California without a prescription.

For information about how to obtain naloxone or for more information, please visit the California Department of Public Health's page on Naloxone.

What to Do if Someone is Unresponsive

  • Call 911 and give naloxone. If there is no reaction in 3 minutes, give second naloxone dose.
  • Do rescue breathing and/or chest compressions. Follow 911 dispatcher instructions.
  • After naloxone, stay with the person until help arrives.

For more information on how to administer naloxone, watch this YouTube video on Administering Naloxone and read about Opioid Safety and How to Use Naloxone (PDF).

Page Last Updated :