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How to use a naloxone injection (Prenoxad)

Prenoxad injections contain the medicine naloxone. Naloxone reverses the effects of opioid drugs like heroin, morphine and methadone.

You can use naloxone to help someone who has taken an overdose of these drugs.

You can't harm someone by giving them naloxone.

It's best to use it if you think someone has overdosed, even if you're not sure what they've taken.

Spot the signs of a drug overdose

Step 1

Call 999 and ask for an ambulance.

Make sure it's safe for you to approach the person who has overdosed.

Remove the clear film wrapper and twist the plastic box to break the seals.

Step 2

The box holds 2 needles, a syringe containing 5 doses of naloxone and instructions.

Step 3

Unscrew the clear plastic top from the syringe.

Step 4

Open a needle by pushing it through the paper side of the packet.

Step 5

With the needle still in its cover, screw it on to the syringe.

Step 6

Gently twist the needle cover to remove it from the syringe.

Step 7

Hold the syringe like a pen.

Step 8

Insert the needle into the person’s outer thigh muscle or upper arm muscle, through clothing if necessary.

Step 9

Push the plunger to the first black line to inject a single dose of naloxone.

Step 10

After administering the dose, don't remove the needle or replace the cap, just rest the syringe back in the yellow box.

If the person is still unconscious after 2-3 minutes, inject another dose. Repeat every 2-3 minutes until the person comes round or the ambulance arrives.

If the person comes round:

  • they may become distressed or angry – encourage them to stay calm
  • tell them you have given them naloxone
  • explain that the naloxone will wear off after 20-30 minutes and they may go back into overdose
  • stay with them until the ambulance arrives – don’t let them take more drugs as they risk overdosing again
  • hand any used naloxone to ambulance staff
  • keep yourself safe at all times

If the person goes back into overdose, give them another dose of naloxone.

Watch a video

How to use Prenoxad (video opens in YouTube)