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Naloxone (By injection)

Treats narcotic overdose in an emergency situation.

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Naloxone injection is used to treat an opioid emergency such as an overdose or a possible overdose of a narcotic medicine. Some signs and symptoms of an opioid emergency are breathing problems (which can range from slow or shallow breathing to no breathing), extreme sleepiness, slow heartbeat, or not being able to respond. This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription… Read more
Brand names include
Evzio, Naloxone HCl Novaplus, Narcan, PremierPro Rx naloxone HCl
Other forms
Into the nose
Drug classes About this
Antidote
Combinations including this drug

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Naloxone for preventing morbidity and mortality in newborn infants of greater than 34 weeks' gestation with suspected perinatal asphyxia

Newborn infants who have been deprived of oxygen before, during, or after delivery ("perinatal asphyxia") are at high risk of dying or developing brain damage. Studies in animal models suggest that over‐production of the bodies' own opioids (substances similar to drugs like morphine) is detrimental. Furthermore, researchers have found that giving newborn animals with perinatal asphyxia a drug to counteract the effects of opioids (naloxone, an opioid antagonist) is beneficial. We found only one small randomised controlled trial that examined whether giving naloxone to newborn infants with suspected perinatal asphyxia improved their outcomes, but this trial did not assess the effect on death or disability. Further trials large enough to determine whether naloxone improves survival and/or reduces disability rates are therefore needed.

Naloxone may improve blood pressure in people who are in shock but more trials are needed to show whether this reduces deaths

When people go into shock, their blood pressure drops and may be too low to sustain life. One theory about the cause of this is the effect of the opiates that the body produces after major blood loss or trauma. Naloxone is a drug that counteracts the effects of opiates. It has been tried as a treatment to reduce the impact of shock. This review of trials found that giving naloxone to people in shock improves their blood pressure. It is not clear whether or not this improves their overall condition or reduces their chances of dying. More trials are needed.

Naloxone for opiate‐exposed newborn infants

When a pregnant woman uses opiate medications (for example, pethidine, morphine and similar drugs) for pain relief in labour her newborn baby's breathing or heart rate may be depressed. Naloxone, a drug that counters the effects of opiates, is often used to help such newborns. This review did not find any evidence that naloxone reduces the need for assisted breathing or admission to neonatal care units for babies born after women used opiate‐based pain relief in labour.

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Summaries for consumers

Naloxone for preventing morbidity and mortality in newborn infants of greater than 34 weeks' gestation with suspected perinatal asphyxia

Newborn infants who have been deprived of oxygen before, during, or after delivery ("perinatal asphyxia") are at high risk of dying or developing brain damage. Studies in animal models suggest that over‐production of the bodies' own opioids (substances similar to drugs like morphine) is detrimental. Furthermore, researchers have found that giving newborn animals with perinatal asphyxia a drug to counteract the effects of opioids (naloxone, an opioid antagonist) is beneficial. We found only one small randomised controlled trial that examined whether giving naloxone to newborn infants with suspected perinatal asphyxia improved their outcomes, but this trial did not assess the effect on death or disability. Further trials large enough to determine whether naloxone improves survival and/or reduces disability rates are therefore needed.

Naloxone may improve blood pressure in people who are in shock but more trials are needed to show whether this reduces deaths

When people go into shock, their blood pressure drops and may be too low to sustain life. One theory about the cause of this is the effect of the opiates that the body produces after major blood loss or trauma. Naloxone is a drug that counteracts the effects of opiates. It has been tried as a treatment to reduce the impact of shock. This review of trials found that giving naloxone to people in shock improves their blood pressure. It is not clear whether or not this improves their overall condition or reduces their chances of dying. More trials are needed.

Naloxone for opiate‐exposed newborn infants

When a pregnant woman uses opiate medications (for example, pethidine, morphine and similar drugs) for pain relief in labour her newborn baby's breathing or heart rate may be depressed. Naloxone, a drug that counters the effects of opiates, is often used to help such newborns. This review did not find any evidence that naloxone reduces the need for assisted breathing or admission to neonatal care units for babies born after women used opiate‐based pain relief in labour.

See all (17)

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