Opioids include prescription drugs such as OxyContin (oxycodone) and Vicodin (hydrocodone with acetaminophen) as well as illegal drugs such as heroin. Every year more than 16,000 people die from opioid overdoses. Naloxone temporarily reverses the life-threatening slow breathing caused by opioid overdoses and has been the standard treatment for overdoses. However, because using a syringe to draw naloxone up from a vial requires special training, the vial form was only available to specially trained emergency personnel.
By making the drug more widely available in the easy-to-use auto-injector, the drug can be more rapidly administered by anyone. Although the patient still needs immediate medical care (naloxone only temporarily reverse the effects of overdose), it is expected that the extra time gained by the more immediate administration of Evzio will save thousands of lives.
 FDA approves new hand-held auto-injector to reverse overdose (April 3, 2014).
 FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg Statement on Opioid Abuse.
 Throckmorton, Douglas "Opioid Auto-Injector Can Help Prevent Overdose Deaths," FDA Voice (April 3, 2014).