The naloxone brands Narcan and Evzio remain chemically stable after their expiration date, according to a new study. Naloxone is an opioid overdose antidote.
Narcan, a nasal spray, was found to be stable for 10 months after its expiration date. Evzio, given as an injection, was found to be stable for at least a year after its expiration date, CNN reports. The products were not kept in ideal storage conditions.
The findings were presented this week at the PharmSci 360 Annual Meeting.
“The country is experiencing an opioid epidemic and given the continued increase in opioid overdoses our preliminary data suggests that extending the shelf life of these products should aid in avoiding the significant expense of replacing them every two years and also increase the availability of this life-saving medication in both stockpiles and communities,” study lead investigator Charles Babcock Pharm.D., of Marshall University School of Pharmacy said in a news release.
How to Use Naloxone to Reverse Opioid Overdose and Save Lives
A variety of drugs and drug combinations carry the risk of fatal overdose. Emergency protocol for any suspected overdose includes calling 911. However, in the case of opioids, which includes heroin and prescription pain medications like Vicodin, OxyContin and Percocet, naloxone (also known by the brand name Narcan) can reverse an overdose, potentially saving a loved one’s life.