How is naloxone used to counteract opioid sedation?

Updated: Nov 06, 2018
  • Author: Arul M Lingappan, MD; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Naloxone is a competitive opiate antagonist. The onset of action following intravenous administration is rapid, with effects appearing within 2-3 minutes. The duration of action is dose-related. The initial dose in adults is 0.4 mg IV. It can be repeated to a total dosage of 2 mg. This antagonist may have shorter duration of action compared with that of the longer-acting opioids. In that case, the patient may need multiple doses. If the patient exhibits signs of respiratory depression before the end of the procedure, 0.1-0.4 mg can be administered for partial reversal. Virtually no adverse effects occur when naloxone is given for procedural oversedation. [1]

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