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Generic Name: naloxone (nasal) (na LOX one)
Brand Names: Narcan
Narcan Nasal Spray (naloxone) is used to treat opioid overdose. Includes Narcan Nasal Spray side effects, interactions and indications.
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Drug Information:
Narcan Nasal Spray contains naloxone hydrochloride. Naloxone blocks or reverses the effects of opioid medication, including extreme drowsiness, slowed breathing, or loss of consciousness. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic. Narcan Nasal Spray is used to treat an opioid overdose in an emergency situation. This medicine should not be used in place of emergency medical care for an overdose. Narcan Nasal Spray is also used to help diagnose whether a person has used an overdose of an opioid. In an emergency situation it may not be possible before you are treated to tell your caregivers about your health conditions or if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Make sure any doctor caring for you afterward knows that you have received this medication. Learn more

Narcan Side Effects

Narcan Nasal Spray Side Effects

Note: This document contains side effect information about naloxone. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Narcan Nasal Spray.

For the Consumer

Applies to naloxone: injection solution

Other dosage forms:

  • nasal spray

Along with its needed effects, naloxone (the active ingredient contained in Narcan Nasal Spray) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking naloxone:

Incidence not known

  • Abdominal or stomach cramps
  • body aches
  • convulsions
  • diarrhea
  • difficult or troubled breathing
  • excessive crying
  • fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • fever
  • goosebumps
  • increased or excessive unconscious or jerking movements
  • irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing
  • irritability
  • nausea or vomiting
  • nervousness
  • pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin
  • restlessness
  • runny nose
  • shivering
  • sneezing
  • sweating
  • trembling
  • weakness
  • yawning

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to naloxone: compounding powder, injectable solution, nasal spray


This drug may precipitate abrupt opioid withdrawal in physically dependent persons; signs and symptoms may include body aches, fever, sweating, sneezing, yawning, nausea, vomiting, sweating, lacrimation, rhinorrhea, cramping, insomnia, chills/hot flashes, piloerection, tachycardia, anxiety, restlessness, irritability, tremulousness, hypertension, seizures, and cardiac arrest. In the neonate, opioid withdrawal may also include convulsions, excessive crying, and hyperactive reflexes.


In postoperative patients, many of whom had cardiovascular disease, the following cardiovascular side effects have been reported: hypotension, hypertension, atrial and ventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation, left ventricular failure, and cardiac arrest. Death, coma, and encephalopathy have been reported as sequelae of these events.

Common (1% to 10%): Tachycardia, hypotension, hypertension

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Arrhythmia, bradycardia

Rare (less than 0.1%): Fibrillation, cardiac arrest

Frequency not reported: Left ventricular failure, flushing

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Dizziness, headache

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Tremor

Rare (less than 0.1%): Seizures

Frequency not reported: Coma, encephalopathy, convulsions, paraesthesia, grand mal convulsion

Death, coma, and encephalopathy have been reported as a result of abrupt postoperative reversal of opioid depression, primarily in patients with preexisting cardiovascular disorders or in those who received other drugs with similar adverse cardiovascular effects.


Very rare (less than 0.01%): Pulmonary edema

Frequency not reported: Dyspnea, respiratory depression, hypoxia, nasal dryness, nasal edema, nasal congestion, nasal inflammation

It has been suggested that pulmonary edema may be due to a centrally mediated massive catecholamine response leading to a dramatic shift of blood volume into the pulmonary vascular bed resulting in increased hydrostatic pressures.

Nasal dryness, nasal edema, nasal congestion, and nasal inflammation were the most common adverse reactions reported in clinical trials with naloxone nasal spray.


Frequency not reported: Nonspecific injection site reactions, irritation of vessel was after IV administration


Common (1% to 10%): Nausea, vomiting

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Diarrhea, dry mouth


Very rare (less than 0.01%): Erythema multiforme

Frequency not reported: Sweating


Very rare (less than 0.01%): Allergic reactions including urticaria, rhinitis, dyspnea, Quincke's edema, anaphylactic shock


Frequency not reported: Agitation, hallucination, tremulousness


Musculoskeletal pain was one of the more commonly reported adverse reactions in clinical trials with naloxone (the active ingredient contained in Narcan Nasal Spray) nasal spray.

Frequency not reported: Musculoskeletal pain

Editorial References and Review

Medically reviewed by BestRx Medical Team Last updated on 1/1/2020.

Source: Drugs.com Narcan