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How to get naloxone

Information for community members about how to get naloxone, known commonly by the brand name NARCAN®, to help prevent overdose deaths.

Getting naloxone from a pharmacy

Naloxone rescue kits are available at many pharmacies across the state, with or without prescriptions.

There are two ways to get a naloxone rescue kit from a pharmacy:

  1. Obtain a prescription from your prescriber and have it filled at your preferred pharmacy. The pharmacy can dispense it and bill your insurance, like it would for any other prescription.
  2. Go directly to a pharmacy and request a naloxone kit. A prescription from a prescriber is not needed. The Department of Public Health (DPH) has issued a statewide standing order that allows retail pharmacies to dispense naloxone without a prescription. All Massachusetts retail pharmacies licensed by the Board of Pharmacy must maintain a continuous, sufficient supply of naloxone rescue kits.

Call or visit your local pharmacy to find out more. When you go to the pharmacy to get a rescue kit under the standing order, all you need is your insurance card and preferred payment method, like you do when picking up any other prescription.

When at the pharmacy, tell the pharmacist or pharmacy tech you want naloxone / Narcan. Since there are a few different types of naloxone, make sure to tell the pharmacist which formulation you prefer.

Ask about the cost or co-pay before they fill the order. Insurance coverage and co-pay costs vary. Keep in mind that generic formulations tend to be less expensive for consumers that are paying out of pocket. You should then be given a naloxone rescue kit, your insurance will be billed, and you will pay any co-pay costs.

DPH OEND Program

DPH operates the Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution (OEND) program for those most at risk of experiencing an opioid overdose. This program operates under the DPH Drug Control Program regulations 105 CMR 700.003.

The following flyers provide contact information and additional information about the OEND program. If you want to learn more about how to prevent an overdose and use narcan, please reach out to your local OEND program.