When does old news becomes new? When it’s in a press release?

Students! The first thing to do before writing a story is to read the clips. You want to be informed and make sure the story hasn’t been written already. So, why did all these stories report nasal Narcan as new? Reading though them, we can’t figure it out. If you can, let us know. According to Google, there are 206 stories out there on this FDA action   But, nasal Narcan has been around for a while. What might be new —  no assembly required? Or that this company trademarking the commonly used name Narcan.  At least someone beside drug cartels will benefit from the heroin addition crisis.

From WAMC’s The Health Show, 2010. Produced by Boston Health News.


From the company press release: For more than 40 years, naloxone has been trusted by healthcare providers for reversing the effects of opioid overdose, but until today, it was FDA approved only as an injection.

FDA press release: Today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Narcan nasal spray, the first FDA-approved nasal spray version of naloxone hydrochloride, a life-saving medication that can stop or reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

New York Times: A nasal spray designed to reverse opioid overdoses won approval from the Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday, expanding the options for treating drug overdoses without medical training. Until now, all versions of the overdose reversal drug naloxone were injectable.

AP:WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration has approved an easy-to-use version of the life-saving drug that reverses heroin and prescription painkiller overdoses, as communities across the country grapple with a wave of drug abuse. The reformulated drug, sold as Narcan, comes as a nasal spray and should help first responders, police and others deliver the antidote in emergency situations.

AP story ran in The Guardian 

Medscape: Naloxone hydrochloride has long been given by intramuscular injection to stop or reverse the effects of opioid overdose, in particular respiratory depression. It usually works within 2 minutes but must be given quickly to prevent death. The nasal form will be easier for first responders and others to deliver, and will eliminate the threat of contaminated needle sticks. Until now, unapproved naloxone kits have combined the injectable form of naloxone with an atomizer to administer the drug nasally.

MedPage today:  WASHINGTON — A nasal spray formulation of naloxone hydrochloride, to be sold as Narcan and indicated for emergency treatment of opioid overdose, won approval from the FDA late Wednesday. It’s the first non-injectable form of naloxone to be cleared for U.S. sale.

This one does note —No assembly is required for the approved nasal product — which does seem to be new.

Stat News:  This one also ran on the front page of The Boston Globe. A critical drug used to reverse opioid overdoses will now be sold as a nasal spray, a development that will likely broaden use of the antidote among family members and friends of addicts caught up in a growing national epidemic of drug abuse. The Food and Drug Administration approved the spray form of naloxone Wednesday. Naloxone has been an effective lifesaver when quickly administered to addicts overdosing on heroin or prescription painkillers. Until now, the only approved versions of the drug have been injections that people without medical training were often reluctant to use.

So hooray for radio . WBUR had a story in January that described — and pictured –nasal Narcan   As noted above, so did Boston Health News — in 2010.

Here are some more links to groups describing how to use nasal Narcan.

Harm Reduction Coalition

Center for Opioid Safey Education. 




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