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CVS to sell Narcan without prescription; local stores awaiting shipments

Residents hoping to buy Narcan at local CVS stores will have to wait a little longer. 

While the pharmacy chain has committed to partnering with the New York State Department of Health to offer the opiate overdose reversal drug, also known as Naloxone, without a prescription, it is not yet available at the CVS stores in Wading River, Riverhead and Mattituck. Employees at those stores said this week they anticipate it will be available soon.

The “lifesaving” drug, which can be administered either by injection or nasal spray, allows a person to regain consciousness and resume normal breathing after they overdose on opiates.

Dr. Howard Zucker, New York State’s health commissioner, said Narcan “counteracts the depression of the central nervous system and respiratory system” for 30 to 90 minutes.

New York is the 15th state to make the drug available over-the-counter at CVS pharmacies, a move announced earlier this month. Other states, which began selling Narcan in September, include Arkansas, California, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

CVS also said it would provide training to interested individuals on how to correctly administer Narcan and advised that anyone treated with the drug should still seek medical care at a hospital.

“Naloxone is a safe and effective antidote to opioid overdoses and by expanding access to this medication in our New York pharmacies by the use of a physician’s standing order for patients without a prescription, we can help save lives,” said Tom Davis, a vice president at CVS.

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