Naloxone is a drug to treat an overdose of opioid drugs. Several types of drugs including opioids include codeine, morphine, methadone, oxycodone, heroin, fentanyl, and hydrocodone. Naloxone is available in injectable form.
Naloxone works by blocking the effects of opioids in the brain. This drug can be used to treat overdoses in patients who abuse drugs or use opioids as anesthetics or painkillers . Opioid drug overdose can occur due to use that is not supervised by a doctor.
Opioid overdose can cause a person to experience a decrease in consciousness, slow and shallow breathing, to stop breathing which can lead to death. Naloxone is able to restore breath quickly so that it can save the life of someone who has an opioid overdose.
In addition to overcoming opioid overdoses, naloxone in low doses can also be combined with opioids as a drug to relieve severe pain. In this case, naloxone is useful for reducing the risk of side effects from opioids.
Naloxone trademarks : Suboxone, Naloxone Hydrochloride, and Naloxone Hydrochloride Dihydrate.
What is Naloxone
|Benefit||Coping with an overdose of opioid drugs|
|Used by||Child to adult|
|Naloxone for pregnant and lactating women||
Category C : Animal studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus, but there have been no controlled studies in pregnant women.
Drugs should only be used if the expected benefit outweighs the risk to the fetus.
It is not known whether naloxone is absorbed into breast milk or not. If you are breastfeeding, do not use this medication without consulting your doctor first.
Warning Before Using Naloxone
Naloxone should not be used without a doctor's advice. There are several things that need to be considered before undergoing treatment with naloxone, namely:
- Tell your doctor about any history of allergies you have. Naloxone should not be given to people who are allergic to the drug
- Tell your doctor if you have heart disease or have had seizures.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
- Tell your doctor that you are using naloxone before having any medical procedure, including surgery.
- Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medications, including supplements and herbal products. The goal is to anticipate drug interactions.
- Immediately report to the doctor if you experience a drug allergic reaction or serious side effects after using naloxone.
Dosage and Rules for Use Naloxone
The dose of injectable naloxone given by the doctor is usually in the form of naloxone hydrochloride. The following are injectable naloxone dosages based on their intended use:
Purpose: Overcoming an overdose of opioid drugs
- Adult: 0.4–2 mg, repeated dose every 2–3 minutes if needed. The maximum dose is 10 mg.
- Children: 10 mcg/kg, followed by 100 mcg/kg if needed.
Purpose: Overcome respiratory problems due to the use of opioid anesthetics during surgery
- Adults: 100–200 mcg. If needed, the dose may be increased by 100 mcg every 2–3 minutes until the targeted condition is achieved. The dose can be repeated every 1-2 hours depending on the dose, type, and time of last use of the anesthetic.
- Children: 10–20 mcg/kg every 2–3 minutes until targeted condition is achieved. If needed, additional doses may be given every 1–2 hours depending on the dose, type, and time of last use of the anesthetic.
Purpose: Overcome respiratory problems in newborns due to the use of anesthetic drugs during the birth process
- The dose is 10 mcg/kg, the dose can be repeated every 2-3 minutes if needed.
How to Use Naloxone Properly
Injectable Naloxone is given by a doctor or medical officer under the supervision of a doctor in a hospital. The doctor will inject naloxone into a vein or into a muscle, depending on the patient's condition. Follow the doctor's instructions while taking treatment with naloxone.
If you are caring for someone who uses opioids, your doctor may be able to give you injectable naloxone to take home with you in anticipation of an opioid overdose. Make sure you understand how to use this drug. Ask your doctor if you are still unsure.
Opioid drug overdose is an emergency condition that requires immediate medical attention. Therefore, families or caregivers need to know what are the symptoms of an overdose of opioid drugs. Opioid drug overdose can be characterized by the following symptoms:
- Throws up
- Blue or purplish lips and fingernails
- Pale face and skin
- Loss of consciousness
- The pupil (the dark part in the middle of the eye) gets smaller
- Breathing and heart rate slow down
If the patient shows signs of an opioid overdose, the first step that must be taken is to seek medical attention from a doctor or contact the hospital emergency room. While waiting for medical help, the family or caregiver can inject naloxone into the muscle or under the patient's skin.
Naloxone Interactions with Other Drugs
Naloxone can increase the risk of fatal heart failure when used with drugs that cause heart damage, such as chloroquine , doxorubicin, or cyclophosphamide
Side Effects and Dangers of Naloxone
Considering that naloxone works by opposing the effects of opioids, the use of this drug has the potential to cause withdrawal symptoms. This condition can be characterized by symptoms such as:
- Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea
- Fever, chills, goosebumps, cold sweat , muscle aches, weakness
- Tremor , palpitations, nervousness, restlessness, easy cheapness
- Frequent yawning, runny nose, sneezing
Withdrawal symptoms are more at risk for people who are addicted to opioids or use opioid painkillers for a long time. As a precaution, make sure the patient can immediately get an examination from the doctor after receiving naloxone even though side effects have not occurred.
The use of naloxone in children has the potential to cause more severe withdrawal symptoms. Immediately report to the doctor if the child experiences fussiness, muscle stiffness, or seizures, after using naloxone.