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FDA approves first generic naloxone nasal spray to treat opioid overdose

The life-saving medication that can stop or reverse the effects of an opioid overdose may prevent thousands of deaths.
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Recovering drug users, activists and social service providers hold a morning rally calling for "bolder political action" in combating the overdose epidemic outside of the office of Governor Andrew Cuomo on Aug. 17, 2017 in New York.Spencer Platt / Getty Images file

Generic drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd on Friday received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its generic nasal spray for opioid overdose, the health regulator said.

A Teva Pharmaceutical Industries building in Jerusalem
A Teva Pharmaceutical Industries building in Jerusalem on Dec. 14, 2017Ammar Awad / Reuters file

This is the first approval of a generic naloxone nasal spray for use in a community setting by individuals without medical training, the FDA said in a statement.

Almost 400,000 people died from an opioid overdose from 1999 to 2017, the regulator said, citing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The FDA had tentatively approved Teva’s generic naloxone nasal spray in June last year.