Addiction Recovery
OpveeNasalSpray
By Katie Sebring, LPC, M.Ed.
Katie Sebring, LPC, M.Ed.
Published: June 2, 2023
Updated: June 2, 2023

When the FDA approved Narcan nasal spray for over-the-counter nonprescription use, it became the first naloxone product approved for use without a prescription. This has opened the door for other brands to become more widely available. 

The latest is Nalmefene, an opioid antagonist medication known by the brand name Opvee. Scheduled for release no sooner than October 2023, Opvee is a nasal spray from the manufacturer, Opiant Pharmaceuticals, which was recently acquired by rival Indivior, maker of several medications for opioid addiction.   

How Does It Work? 

Like Naloxone (brand name Narcan), Opvee works by blocking opioid receptors to reverse the effects of an overdose completely or partially. In one of its trials, “Opvee outperformed Narcan at reversing remifentanil-induced respiratory depression at five minutes.”   

Are There Side Effects? 

The drug is administered and acts in the same manner as Narcan. But  the immediate withdrawal symptoms the person revived  would fall back into, including nausea, diarrhea, muscle aches- would last up to six hours with Opvee  This is meant to deter the person revived from immediately attempting to use again. But experts say this side effect is a relatively cruel and unusual punishment for people who will most likely be subject to longer periods of withdrawal symptoms requiring further medical attention and treatment. 

The argument for Opvee in these circumstances is that fentanyl is becoming increasingly popular and because  it stays in the body longer than heroin and other opioids, some people may require multiple doses of naloxone over several hours to fully reverse an overdose. Hence, more research needs to be done to confirm the fact that Opvee might require less doses than Narcan for the same amount of fentanyl ingested by the user. 

 

Opvee may require less doses than Narcan for the same
amount of fentanyl ingested by the person overdosing. 

 

What Sets it Apart from Narcan? 

Unlike Narcan, Opvee isn’t just a nasal spray.   It was first approved as an injection in the mid-1990s but removed from the market due to low sales.   Opvee, the nasal spray, is another positive alternative to add to the list of medications like Narcan that are intended to save lives and harm reduction.  Yet, some are concerned that this additional medication isn’t necessary, especially since Indivior hasn’t disclosed pricing on Opvee yet, and Narcan is already free and relatively easy to acquire. 

Either way, when it comes to saving a life, it won’t matter to that person’s family and friends which one was used to save their loved one’s life or how long their withdrawal symptoms lasted after they were revived.  Though immediate withdrawal is unavoidable following the administration of Opvee or Narcan, an overdose would likely lead to death without either of these medications. Also, it’s important to remember that opioid withdrawal is treatable and decreases over time. 

Regardless of the revival medication used, once that person returns to consciousness, they should seek detox and addiction treatment for their substance use disorder.. Doing so can help them complete the withdrawal process in a safe, comfortable, medically monitored environment to improve recovery outcomes. 

Get Narcan and Help for Addiction Treatment 

In the meantime, you can get Narcan for free. To find the nearest location in your state, check the list below. 

Ohio visit this site.  

Virginia visit this site. 

North Carolina visit Naloxonesaves.org  

Kentucky visit this site.

All other states can click here and scroll down to select their state and easily find resources.  

Call today and feel better tomorrow with the team at BrightView. Reach our staff now at 888.501.9865 or online to learn more about the benefits of medication assisted treatment and how to treat withdrawal at our opioid rehab center.