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Understanding Australia's new opioid overdose rescue treatment

4 March 2019

You may have heard about emergency treatments for opioid overdoses in the news. Last week, the Australian Journal of Pharmacy (AJP) published a story about the Australian launch of a new product called Nyxoid nasal spray. Here, we provide some background to help you follow the coverage.

Nyxoid is an emergency rescue treatment for opioid overdose

Nyxoid nasal spray contains the active ingredient naloxone which blocks the action of opioid drugs such as heroin, methadone, morphine, fentanyl and codeine.

In the event of a known or suspected opioid overdose, spraying Nyxoid into a person's nose will temporarily reverse the effect of the opioid and can help save their life.

People who are at risk of opioid overdose or those who are likely to witness opioid overdose can carry Nyxoid to use in the event of an overdose emergency.

Nyxoid can be used with minimal training

Nyxoid nasal spray is not the only naloxone product available in Australia, but Nyxoid is the first naloxone product in a nasal spray form.

Other naloxone products are injected with a needle, usually by a trained healthcare professional.

Nyxoid nasal spray is different because it is sprayed into the nose. This makes administration easier in an emergency situation.

Nyxoid does not replace medical care

Nyxoid temporarily reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, but it is not a substitute for emergency medical treatment.

In the event of known or suspected opioid overdose, emergency medical help should be sought immediately.

Nyxoid can be purchased over the counter

In Australia, Nyxoid nasal spray can be purchased from a pharmacist, and no prescription is required.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is the regulator of medicines and other therapeutic goods in Australia. We entered Nyxoid nasal spray into the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods for supply in Australia in September 2018.

Getting help and support

In a medical emergency, call 000.

If you have questions about using medicines, you can speak with your doctor or pharmacist or call the NPS MedicineWise Medicines Line: 1300 MEDICINE (1300 633 424).

If you or someone you know needs help with drug related issues, you can visit the Department of Health Drug Help page or call the National Alcohol and Drug Hotline: 1800 250 015.

If you have a question for the TGA, please contact us.