Naloxone can be easy to acquire

You can purchase naloxone without a prescription in the state of Colorado. In 2023, pharmacies began selling the 4-mg. nasal spray Narcan over the counter. The price is around $45.

If you need a different version, some pharmacies have the medication in stock, and almost all can order it for you and get it to you within a couple of days. Many insurance plans, including Medicaid and Medicare, cover naloxone.

Visit your local pharmacy and ask your pharmacist about naloxone.

Bringing Naloxone Home

Anyone who uses opioids or has them in their home should get naloxone. If you or someone you care about uses opioids, either with a prescription or without, or has an opioid use disorder, you can help them by talking to them about naloxone and having it at home, just in case. You can even carry naloxone with you, in case you encounter someone who might be overdosing.

You don’t need a prescription from a doctor for naloxone, although you can get one if you would like. In Colorado, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s chief medical officer has written a blanket prescription called a standing order that covers everyone in the state. Many other states have similar policies.

Naloxone can be purchased by people under the age of 18.

Standing Order

Talking to your pharmacist about naloxone

Talking to your pharmacist about naloxone does not indicate you have a problem misusing opioids or have an opioid use disorder. It’s a way to keep you and your loved ones safe. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends doctors prescribe naloxone to patients who are taking opioids. In fact, many states are passing laws where doctors must co-prescribe naloxone to patients taking opioids.

Although you don’t need a prescription, you will have to ask a pharmacist or pharmacy technician to obtain naloxone.

Naloxone is becoming more common every day

More than 500 pharmacies in Colorado, including major chains such as CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Safeway/Albertsons, King Soopers, and City Market, sell naloxone. You can find a map of pharmacies at StopTheClockColorado.org.

Not every pharmacy outlet might have naloxone in stock at that time, but if you ask the pharmacy, they can order it for you or might direct you to a pharmacy with naloxone in stock. You also can call ahead to confirm that naloxone is in stock.

If pharmacy staff ask you for a prescription, tell them about Colorado’s standing order. They are posted online on the CDPHE’s website.

Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians should know about naloxone. If they don’t, tell them naloxone is the medication that reverses opioid overdoses. You can direct them to the FDA website.

Paying for naloxone

Nasal Narcan, as well as other forms of Naloxone are covered by many health insurance plans, but not all. To learn if your plan covers it and how much you would pay, call the insurance company’s customer service or check the prescription formulary online.

You also can ask the pharmacist to check the price.

If your insurance does not cover naloxone, you might be able to find a prescription discount program online.

In some areas, nonprofits and harm reduction centers might offer discounted or free naloxone. Visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s website for a list of these programs.

Share this page