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New overdose-reversal drug available at NH pharmacies, health officials say

A white box for the overdose-reversal drug nalmefene, brand name Opvee, next to a white nasal spray applicator containing the drug.
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Like naloxone, the new drug — nalmefene — can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

New Hampshire health officials say a new overdose-reversal medication is now available at pharmacies around the state.

The drug, nalmefene, is sold as a nasal spray under the brand name Opvee. Similar to naloxone, it counteracts the effects of an opioid overdose and can prevent someone from dying.

The state health department has issued a standing order for pharmacies to distribute nalmefene, meaning no prescription is needed. It’s available to people at risk of overdose, their friends and family, and anyone else who wants to keep it on hand.

Nalmefene is free to anyone with New Hampshire Medicaid, state officials said.

The FDA approved nalmefene last year. New Hampshire health officials said it’s another tool to prevent deaths caused by fentanyl and other opioids.

Naloxone – sometimes known by the brand name Narcan – is also widely available at New Hampshire pharmacies through a standing order.

Paul Cuno-Booth covers health and equity for NHPR. He previously worked as a reporter and editor for The Keene Sentinel, where he wrote about police accountability, local government and a range of other topics. He can be reached at pcuno-booth@nhpr.org.
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