Expired naloxone should get proper disposal, official warns


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Naloxone can save someone’s life in an instant but typically has a shelf life of 18 to 24 months.

Medical professionals say the date on the bottom of the box should not be taken lightly.

“We’re coming up on a cycle when a lot of the naloxone that people got in the early initial batches or some of the public distributions is going to start to expire,” said Nathan Harig, the assistant chief of Cumberland Goodwill EMS.

Harig says as expiration dates inch closer and closer, he is hoping to see more free distribution opportunities for the public.

“We saw that the last free major distribution of naloxone to take place in Cumberland County was around December and there hasn’t really been a free distribution yet, so if you do want it right now, you are paying out of pocket or going through your health insurance,” he said.

The Department of Health says it is working on holding another naloxone distribution event in the future.

Harig says it’s important to dispose of unused Narcan correctly.

“Depending on the version you have, you don’t necessarily want to just throw it in the trash or flush it down the toilet because that can contaminate,” he said.

Narcan can also get in the wrong hands if thrown in the trash. 

“Some of these distribution methods like the one we use actually have a tiny little needle in there, and if a kid got ahold of it and pulled it out of the trash and started chewing on that, it could cut them and cause problems,” Harig said. 

Harig says Narcan should be treated as a prescription drug and taken to a drug take-back location once expired.

Full list of drug takeback locations, go to https://apps.ddap.pa.gov/GetHelpNow/PillDrop.aspx  

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