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- What is naloxone (Narcan)? How does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What are the uses for naloxone?
- What are the side effects of naloxone?
- What is the dosage for naloxone?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with naloxone?
- Is this drug safe to take if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about naloxone?
What is naloxone (Narcan)? How does it work (mechanism of action)?
Naloxone is a man-made opioid antagonist, which means that it blocks the action of opioid medications such as morphine and related drugs. Naloxone works by binding to mu-receptors in the brain that opioids use to produce their effect on pain and other symptoms. By binding to mu receptors, naloxone reverses opioid activity in the body.
What are the uses for naloxone?
Doctors and other health care professionals use naloxone for partial or complete reversal of respiratory depression caused by synthetic (man-made) or natural opioids (narcotics), and to diagnose suspected or known acute opioid overdose.
What is the dosage for naloxone?
- Opioid overdose: 0.4 to 2 mg intravenous (IV), intramuscular (IM), or subcutaneous injection every 2 to 3 minutes as needed; however, after10 mg administered, it is recommended that its use be reassessed as the symptoms may not be due to opiate activity.
- Reversal of opiate activity: 0.1 to 0.2 mg IV, IM, or subcutaneous injection every 2 to 3 minutes as needed.
Dosage for children (5 years or older OR 20 kg or less):
- Opioid overdose: Initially 0.01 mg/kg IV; may increase to 0.1 mg/kg if necessary.
- Postoperative opioid depression: 0.005 to 0.01 mg IV every 2 to 3 minutes as needed.
Nasal spray dosage
The initial dose of the nasal Spray in adults and pediatric patients is one spray into one nostril. An additional dose may given if the response is not adequate. If needed, administer additional doses every 2 to 3 minutes. Additional doses should be administered to alternate nostrils using a new naloxone nasal spray.
Which drugs or supplements interact with naloxone?
Large doses of Naloxone are required when used together with buprenorphine since buprenorphine binds and dissociates slowly from mu receptors. Large doses of Naloxone may cause respiratory distress.
Is this drug safe to take if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies done on Naloxone to determine safe and effective use in pregnant women. It is not known whether Naloxone enters breast milk; therefore, it is best to be cautious before using it in women who are breastfeeding.
What else should I know about naloxone?
Naloxone is available as injection of 0.4 and 1 mg/ml, auto Injector of 0.4 mg/0.4 ml, and nasal spray of 2mg and 4mg.
Naloxone should be stored at room temperature 20 C to 25 C (68 F to 77 F).
Narcan and Evzio are the brand names available for naloxone in the US.
Narcan is available in generic form. You need a prescription from your doctor or other health care professional to obtain Narcan.
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Naloxone hydrochloride injection is a drug used to treat signs and symptoms of drug and other substance abuse. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to administering this medication.
Naloxone is available as a generic drug, or under the brand names Narcan, Evzio, and Narcan Nasal Spray. You need a prescription from your health care provider for this drug.
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Related Disease Conditions
Alcoholism is a disease that includes alcohol craving and continued drinking despite repeated alcohol-related problems, such as losing a job or getting into trouble with the law. It can cause myriad health problems, including cirrhosis of the liver, birth defects, heart disease, stroke, psychological problems, and dementia. Counseling and a few medications can be effective for alcoholism treatment.
Drug addiction is a chronic disease that causes drug-seeking behavior and drug use despite negative consequences to the user and those around him. Though the initial decision to use drugs is voluntary, changes in the brain caused by repeated drug abuse can affect a person's self-control and ability to make the right decisions and increase the urge to take drugs. Drug abuse and addiction are preventable.
Cocaine and Crack Abuse
Cocaine is an addictive stimulant that is smoked, snorted, and injected. Crack is cocaine that comes in a rock crystal that is heated to form vapors, which are then smoked. Cocaine has various effects on the body, including dilating pupils, constricting blood vessels, increasing body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure.
Schizophrenia is a disabling brain disorder that may cause hallucinations and delusions and affect a person's ability to communicate and pay attention. Symptoms of psychosis appear in men in their late teens and early 20s and in women in their mid-20s to early 30s. With treatment involving the use of antipsychotic medications and psychosocial treatment, schizophrenia patients can lead rewarding and meaningful lives.
Alzheimer's disease is a common cause of dementia. Symptoms and warning signs of Alzheimer's disease include memory loss, difficulty performing familiar tasks, disorientation to time and place, misplacing things, and more. The biggest risk factor for Alzheimer's disease is increased age. Treatment for Alzheimer's is often targeted toward decreasing the symptoms and progression of the disease.
Ingredients of the drug bath salts include mephedrone, methylone, MDPV, or MDPK. Feeling high and sexually stimulated are symptoms of bath salt abuse. The primary goals for the treatment of addiction symptoms (also called recovery) are abstinence, relapse prevention, and rehabilitation.
Teen Drug Abuse
Drugs commonly abused by teens include tobacco products, marijuana, cold medications, inhalants, depressants, stimulants, narcotics, hallucinogens, PCP, ketamine, Ecstasy, and anabolic steroids. Some of the symptoms and warning signs of teen drug abuse include reddened whites of eyes, paranoia, sleepiness, excessive happiness, seizures, memory loss, increased appetite, discolored fingertips, lips or teeth, and irritability. Treatment of drug addiction may involve a combination of medication, individual, and familial interventions.
Ecstasy (MDMA), Rohypnol, ketamine and GHB are a few of the different types of drugs abused at bars, raves and parties. Rohypnol may produce amnesia, GHB may result in sleep, coma, or death, and ketamine can cause dreamlike states and hallucinations. Treatment of club drug addiction focuses on monitoring and managing withdrawal symptoms.
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.