Skip Navigation LinksOver-the-Counter-(OTC)-Naloxone

Substance and addiction prevention branch


In March 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first over-the-counter (OTC) naloxone nasal spray for use without a prescription. Narcan® nasal spray will become available to purchase OTC directly to consumers in places like drug stores, convenience stores, grocery stores and gas stations, as well as online by late summer 2023. 

What is Narcan®​?

Narcan® is the approved branded naloxone nasal spray from Emergent BioSolutions. It is a life-saving medication used to reverse an opioid overdose, including heroin, fentanyl, and prescription opioid medications. 

W​​hat does this mean for California?

OTC Narcan® will increase naloxone access options for Californians and help save lives of those experiencing an opioid overdose.
Individuals who purchase Narcan® OTC can access training and information on how to administer it on the CDPH Naloxone website. It is also important for individuals who purchase Narcan®​ to familiarize themselves with the signs of an overdose.

How to recognize an opioid overdose:

  • Recognizing the signs of an overdose can save a life. Signs of an overdose may include:
  • Small, constricted "pinpoint pupils"
  • Falling asleep or losing consciousness
  • Slow, weak, or no breathing
  • Choking or gurgling sounds
  • Limp body
  • Cold and/or clammy skin
  • Discolored skin (especially in lips and nails)

​California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Standing Order

CDPH will continue to maintain its Statewide Standing Order, which has assisted countless community organizations in being able to receive no-cost naloxone through the Department of Health Care Services Naloxone Distribution Project. 

​B​e sure to check back to this website as more information becomes available.
​​​Narcan® is a registered trademark of Emergent Operations Ireland Limited.
For questions, please contact us at​
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