In March 2023, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
approvedNarcan for over-the-counter (OTC) use. This means you’ll be able to buy Narcan off the shelf, without consulting with a pharmacist. Narcan is not yet available for OTC purchase in pharmacies, but it’s expected to become available later in 2023.
Narcan is a brand-name medication that’s available as a prescription drug. In the United States, a pharmacist can also give Narcan at a pharmacy without a prescription. This depends on what state you’re in. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Narcan for use in adults and children to treat known or suspected opioid overdose.
The active ingredient of Narcan is naloxone.
For more information about Narcan’s uses, refer to this article.
Here are some details about Narcan:
- Drug form: single-dose nasal spray
- Generic version: naloxone nasal spray
Read on to learn about Narcan and cost, as well as how to save money on prescriptions.
As with all medications, the cost of Narcan can vary. Your insurance coverage and the pharmacy you use may affect the cost of prescription Narcan. They can also affect the cost of Narcan you get without a prescription. Narcan is not available as an over-the-counter (OTC) drug. However, depending on where you live, a pharmacist may be able to dispense Narcan to you without a prescription.
To find out what the cost of one dose of Narcan will be for you, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about drug cost and Narcan.
How can I determine Narcan’s cost with and without insurance?
Typically, the cost of a drug is less with insurance than without insurance.
Narcan is covered by many health insurance providers. Check with your health insurance provider to see if they cover the cost of the drug. They can tell you exactly how much the drug will cost.
If you don’t have insurance and want to determine the cost of Narcan, call your pharmacy. Keep in mind the cost of the medication may be different depending on the pharmacy you use. If you think you’ll need Narcan, you should call ahead to be sure that your pharmacy has it available.
Are the prices of the 2-mg and 4-mg Narcan nasal sprays the same?
Narcan nasal spray only comes in a 4-milligram (mg) strength. In the past, Narcan nasal spray also came in a 2-mg strength. However, it was discontinued. The cost for the 4-mg strength can vary depending on whether you have health insurance and the pharmacy you use.
Check with your insurance provider to see if Narcan is covered. If there’s a cost, they can let you know exactly how much you’ll pay.
If you don’t have health insurance, talk with your pharmacy to find out the cost of Narcan. They can let you know the exact cost of Narcan at their location. Keep in mind that the cost of Narcan can vary at different pharmacies.
Narcan is available as the generic drug naloxone nasal spray. A generic drug is considered to be as safe and effective as the original drug. And generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs. Naloxone is also available as a generic drug that’s given as an injection in a hospital or by a healthcare professional.
If your doctor has prescribed Narcan and you’re interested in naloxone nasal spray instead, talk with your doctor. They may have a preference for one version or the other. You’ll also need to check with your insurance provider, as it may only cover one or the other.
Why are costs different for brand-name drugs vs. generic drugs?
Brand-name drugs can be expensive because of the research needed to test their safety and effectiveness. The manufacturer of a brand-name drug can sell it for up to 20 years. When the brand-name drug’s patent expires, multiple manufacturers can create generic versions. This marketplace competition may lead to lower costs for generics. Also, because generics contain the same active ingredients as brand-name drugs, they don’t require the same costly testing.
If you need financial support to pay for Narcan, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available. For example:
- Some states or organizations have cost-saving options for Narcan. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist to learn about what options are available to you.
- Some websites provide details about drug assistance programs, ways to make the most of your insurance coverage, and links to savings cards and other services. Two such websites are:
You can also learn more about saving money on prescriptions by checking out this article.
Now that you’ve learned about cost and Narcan, you may still have some questions. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist, who can provide personalized guidance about cost issues related to Narcan. However, if you have health insurance, you’ll need to talk with your insurance provider to learn the actual cost you would pay for Narcan.
Here are some other resources you may find helpful:
- Medicare drug coverage. To learn about Medicare coverage for drugs, see these articles about Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, drug coupons and Medicare, and the Medicare drug list.
- Save money. Explore this article for tips about how to save money on prescriptions.
- More details. For details about other aspects of Narcan, refer to this article.
- Information about opioid overdose. For more information about opioid overdose, see our list of related articles.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.