Have you heard of Opvee yet? Since 2015, Narcan nasal spray has been the go-to treatment for suspected overdoses involving opioids. This FDA-approved treatment is effective, with opioid reversal rates reported at 75-100 percent. The active ingredient, naloxone, is safe and not known to cause harm to patients when given the right dose.
In fact, Narcan is so effective, anyone who knows someone at risk for an opioid overdose is encouraged to carry the medication. Most states allow any citizen to receive naloxone without a prescription or training. However, there is a new drug on the market called Opvee, and it’s worth learning about if opioid addiction affects you personally.
What is Opvee?
Opvee is the brand name for Nalmefene, an opioid antagonist medication that’s scheduled for release at the end of 2023. The medication blocks opioid receptors to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose (slowed or stopped breathing) either partially or completely.
Even though Narcan and Opvee are used in similar situations, there are some differences. Opvee is a prescription-only nasal spray that can be used by people 12 years old and older. Narcan, on the other hand, has been around longer and is approved for over-the-counter use. It also has no restrictions.
Is It as Effective as Narcan?
Narcan is effective, so you may wonder if Opvee has the same results. The good news – it does. In fact, it may be even more effective than Narcan. One study found that Opvee was better at reversing an opioid overdose from a type of synthetic opioid, restoring breathing two times as fast as Narcan.
Furthermore, Opvee lasts longer in the body compared to Narcan, which can help in cases where someone takes a longer-acting opioid like fentanyl. In some instances, Narcan wears off before the opioid does, but Opvee lasts longer and prevents this from happening. It’s half-life is about 11 hours, while Narcan is 2 hours.
Are There Side Effects with Opvee?
Opvee and Narcan have similar side effects, but since Opvee stays in the body longer, the potential for symptoms is greater. Common side effects may include:
- Fast heartbeat
- Nose discomfort
- Throat irritation
Where Can You Get Opvee?
It will release sometime by the end of 2023. But this medication will only be available by prescription, and not OTC like Narcan is. You can stay up to date by signing up for updates through the manufacturer.
Once it is available, you can check with your insurance to see if it’s covered. In the meantime, naloxone is available as a brand-name and generic product available at pharmacies, big box retailers and online. If you know someone at risk for an opioid overdose, it’s recommended to carry this medication.
Get Help for an Opioid Overdose
Reversing an opioid overdose is not the same as treatment. Without professional intervention, another overdose can happen again. Fortunately, opioid addictions are treatable. Outpatient programs allow you to participate in therapy, treat your addiction, and build a healthy life while resuming much of your normal schedule. To learn more about your options for opioid addiction treatment, contact Awakenings Treatment Center today.