Naloxone is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that can stop an overdose by opioids, such as heroin, morphine and oxycodone, from becoming deadly. Naloxone blocks opioid receptor sites, reversing the toxic effects of the overdose. It is administered when a patient is showing signs of opioid overdose. The medication can be given by intranasal spray, intramuscular (into the muscle), subcutaneous (under the skin), or intravenous injection.
Naloxone is effective if opioids are misused in combination with other sedatives or stimulants. It is not effective in treating overdoses of benzodiazepines or stimulant overdoses involving cocaine and amphetamines.