Naloxone blocks or reverses the effects of opioid medication, including extreme drowsiness, slowed breathing, or loss of consciousness. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic. Naloxone is used to treat a narcotic overdose in an emergency situation. This medicine should not be used in place of emergency medical care for an overdose. Naloxone is also used to help diagnose whether a person has used an overdose of an opioid.
Opioid overdose Naloxone is useful both in acute opioid overdose and in reducing respiratory or mental depression due to opioids.Whether it is useful in those in cardiac arrest due to an opioid overdose is unclear
It is included as a part of emergency overdose response kits distributed to heroin and other opioid drug users and emergency responders. This has been shown to reduce rates of deaths due to overdose.A prescription for naloxone is recommended if a person is on a high dose of opioid (>100 mg of morphine equivalence/day), is prescribed any dose of opioid accompanied by a benzodiazepine, or is suspected or known to use opioids nonmedically.Prescribing naloxone should be accompanied by standard education that includes preventing, identifying, and responding to an overdose; rescue breathing; and calling emergency services.
Preventing opioid abuse Naloxone is poorly absorbed when taken by mouth, so it is commonly combined with a number of oral opioid preparations, including buprenorphine and pentazocine, so that when taken orally, just the opioid has an effect, but if misused by injecting, the naloxone blocks the effect of the opioid.This combination is used in an effort to prevent abuse.
Other In a meta-analysis of people with shock, including septic, cardiogenic, hemorrhagic, or spinal shock, those who received naloxone had improved blood flow. The importance of this is unclear.
Naloxone is also experimentally used in the treatment for congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis, an extremely rare disorder (one in 125 million) that renders one unable to feel pain or differentiate temperatures.
Naloxone can also be used as an antidote in overdose of clonidine, a medication that lowers blood pressure.
Naloxone dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Opioid Overdose:
0.4 to 2 mg/dose IV/IM/subcutaneously. May repeat every 2 to 3 minutes as needed. Therapy may need to be reassessed if no response is seen after a cumulative dose of 10 mg.
Continuous infusion: 0.005 mg/kg loading dose followed by an infusion of 0.0025 mg/kg/hr.
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