Nasal Treatment for Overdoses


Unmet Need: Accidental Deaths due to Benzodiazepines, Opiates, and Combined Benzodiazepine/Opiate Overdoses are Epidemic

The use of opiates combined with benzodiazepines is ever-increasing. A study evaluating the prescription patterns between 2002 and 2014 reported that the annual number of patients receiving benzodiazepines increased 31 percent (23 to 31 million), whereas those receiving opioid analgesics increased by 8 percent (75 to 81 million). Accidental deaths in the United States due to benzodiazepine, opiate, and combined benzodiazepine/opiate overdose are ‘epidemic’ and burgeoning. A fast-acting treatment that can be administered during a combined benzodiazepine/opiate overdose is critically necessary to save lives.


The Technology: Novel Nasal Spray for Opiate, Benzodiazepine, and Combined Benzodiazepine/Opiate Overdoses

The inventors have developed a combined benzodiazepine/opiate antagonist nasal spray treatment that can be administered quickly (a necessity in emergency situations) and cost-effectively in overdose situations. This treatment is fast acting with an average absorption time of less than 7 minutes. Additionally, the bioavailability (proportion of the treatment that ends up in active circulation) of the opiate antagonist component is 10-fold higher than the most efficacious currently approved nasal formulation. This treatment can be used for opiate or benzodiazepine overdoses separately or together.



  • Allows for cost-effective and rapid treatment of opiate, benzodiazepine, or combined opiate/benzodiazepine overdoses by health care professionals


  • Intranasal formulation allows for prompt treatment
  • May be used for opiate, benzodiazepine, or combined opiate/benzodiazepine overdoses
  • Opiate antagonist component is more effective than current intranasal treatments


Patent Information:

Provisional patent filed

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Punam Dalai
Technology Licensing Associate
Washington State University
Reference No: TECH-20/3332


John White
Travis Denton

Key Words