Health Canada OKs non-prescription naloxone nasal spray to reverse opioid overdose
Narcan Nasal Spray is shown in this handout image.
The Canadian Press
Published Monday, October 3, 2016 5:04PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, October 3, 2016 6:05PM EDT
OTTAWA -- Health Minister Jane Philpott has authorized naloxone nasal spray for non-prescription use to help prevent deaths from opioid overdoses.
Naloxone, sold under the brand name Narcan, can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose if used promptly.
Monday's move follows an interim order by Philpott in July that allowed naloxone nasal spray to be imported from the U.S. Only the injectable version of the drug had been approved in Canada.
The nasal spray is considered easier to administer than the injectable version, especially for those who aren't trained health-care professionals.
Health Canada says the nasal spray's manufacturer can now take the necessary steps to officially bring the product to market in Canada.
Until then, the U.S.-approved product will continue to be available in Canada to avoid interruption in supply.