New drug formulation – naloxone nasal spray

 In New Product, Pharmacy Information

Nyxoid (naloxone nasal spray) is a novel formulation of naloxone, which is used for the emergency treatment of a patient who has a suspected opioid overdose. The single-use spray is administered into one nostril. After 2–3 minutes repeat doses may be necessary. It is supplied as a pack of two single-use nasal sprays.

What is naloxone?

Nyxoid contains the drug naloxone which temporarily reverses the effects of opioids such as heroin (diamorphine), methadone, fentanyl, oxycodone, buprenorphine, and morphine.

Naloxone is also available as an injection, but the nasal spray is easier and quicker to administer in an emergency situation. The spray (Nyxoid) is particularly suited for non-clinical staff to use.

Signs of opioid overdose

Opioids can cause respiratory depression, and this presents with the following symptoms:

  • No response to touch or sounds
  • Slow, uneven breathing or no breathing
  • Snoring, gasping or gulping for air
  • Blue or purple fingernails or lips.

Treatment

If an overdose is suspected, then naloxone should be administered. The single-use spray is administered into one nostril, and this contains a dose of 1.8mg of naloxone. After 2–3 minutes repeat doses may be necessary, using alternate nostrils.

The emergency services should always be contacted immediately, and basic life support (such as CPR) should be carried out if necessary.

Side effects of naloxone

Naloxone can cause acute withdrawal symptoms if the patient is dependent on opioid drugs. Symptoms can include:

  • Body aches and stomach cramps
  • Feeling sick, vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Sneezing
  • Sweating, fever, shivering or trembling
  • Nervousness, restlessness or irritability
  • Aggression
  • Hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias, pulmonary oedema and cardiac arrest can be precipitated.

The manufacturer’s Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC) includes further information about drugs action, use and the side effects.

Further information and training resources from the manufacturer are available here.

For details about availability and price, please contact Ashtons Customer Services on 0345 222 3550 or email customerservice@ahps.co.uk

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