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Am J Emerg Med. 2005 Jan;23(1):35-9.

Low-dose naloxone does not improve morphine-induced nausea, vomiting, or pruritus.

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  • 1New York-Presbyterian Emergency Medicine, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.



We tested the hypothesis that low-dose naloxone delivered with intravenous (IV) bolus morphine to emergency department patients in pain would reduce nausea.


Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Patients receiving 0.10 mg/kg morphine IV bolus rated pain, nausea, and pruritus on 100-mm visual analog scales at enrollment and 20 minutes. Patients were randomized to 0.25 microg/kg naloxone or equal volume placebo administered with IV morphine.


One hundred thirty-one enrolled, 99 (76%) treated according to protocol with sufficient data for analysis. At 20 minutes the difference between groups (naloxone-placebo) was 1 mm (95% CI [confidence interval], -9 to 11) for nausea, 1 mm (95% CI, -3 to 3) for pruritus, 4% (95% CI, -1 to 9) for vomiting, and 0% (95% CI, -5 to 5) for rescue antiemetics. Pain was significantly reduced in both groups.


Addition of 0.25 microg/kg naloxone to bolus morphine does not improve nausea, pruritus, vomiting, or reduce use of rescue antiemetics when administered to emergency department patients in pain.

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