FDA approves first generic nasal spray to treat opioid overdose

A generic nasal medication has been approved to treat opioid overdoses. (Source: MGN)
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(WAFB/Gray News) - The FDA announced Friday it approved the first generic nasal spray meant to treat opioid overdoses.

The final approval is for naloxone hydrochloride nasal spray, also known as Narcan, a medication that can stop or reverse the effects of the overdose.

In addition, the FDA is planning steps to prioritize the review of additional generic drug applications for similar products. The agency will also help facilitate an over-the-counter naloxone product.

While the generic injectable naloxone products have been available for years to use in a health care setting, the generic nasal spray can be used without medical training.

The FDA also has previously approved a brand-name naloxone nasal spray and an auto-injector for use by those without medical training. The agency said it hopes the apporival will make the medication more accessible to the public.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 400,000 people died from an opioid overdose from 1999 to 2017. On average, more than 130 Americans die every day from opioid overdoses.

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