Narcan now available at all Jewel-Osco stores
Jewel-Osco pharmacies are the latest suburban drugstores to start selling naloxone, an opioid overdose nasal spray reversal drug, without a prescription.
The drug is already sold over the counter at pharmacies including Walgreens and Mariano's.
The spray, also known by the brand name Narcan, helps someone who has overdosed on an opioid, such as heroin or OxyContin, resume breathing and regain consciousness.
According to Adapt Pharma, the manufacturer of Narcan Nasal Spray, the drug is a concentrated naloxone nasal spray that competes with opioids to bind with the same receptors in the brain. It normally reverses the effects of opioid overdose in two to three minutes, giving the opioid-poisoned person time for emergency medical help to arrive.
It's the latest effort in the suburbs to combat the heroin and opioid epidemic, which is killing hundreds of people statewide each year.
"Making Narcan available in our stores is a valuable tool for our customers as it will serve in helping save lives," said Ryan McCann, Jewel-Osco director of pharmacy operations.
Itasca-based Jewel-Osco operates 187 stores in Illinois, Iowa and Indiana.
Live4Lali, an Arlington Heights-based organization, played a key role in making the lifesaving naloxone more widely available by lobbying for passage of state and federal laws. Suburban police and firefighters have carried and used the drug, but now it's being made directly available.