Naloxone

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Antidote, Opiate Antagonist (Systemic Drug)

Prescriber Highlights

  • Injectable opiate antagonist
  • Reversal effect may last for a shorter time than opioid effect

Uses, Indications

  • Used almost exclusively for opiate reversal
  • Has been investigated for treating other conditions (eg, sepsis, hypovolemic or cardiogenic shock)
  • Used to test whether an endogenous opiate blockade will result in diminished tail chasing or other self-mutilating behaviors

Contraindications, Precautions, Warnings

  • Contraindications

Contraindicated in patients with hypersensitivity; should be used cautiously in patients with cardiac abnormalities and/or opioid dependency

  • Precautions

Poor reversal agent for buprenorphine

  • Warnings

When used to reduce postoperative dysphoria associated with perioperative opioids, dosage and administration rate must be carefully titrated or hyperalgesia may occur

Side Effects

  • Relatively free of side effects at usual doses
  • When used to reverse the effect of opioids, opioid analgesic activity can also be reversed 
  • Duration of action may be shorter than that of the narcotic being reversed; animals with signs of respiratory depression should be closely monitored because ventilatory support or additional doses of naloxone may be required

Drug Interactions

  • May antagonize the effects of opioid partial agonists (eg, buprenorphine, butorphanol, pentazocine, nalbuphine) 
  • May reduce hypotensive and bradycardic effects of clonidine; potentially useful for clonidine overdoses
  • May increase the CNS effects of yohimbine
  • May increase plasma cortisol levels

Monitoring

  • Respiratory rate and depth
  • CNS function
  • Pain associated with opiate reversal

Client Information

  • Use only with direct professional supervision 

Dosage Forms

  • No veterinary-labeled products are currently available
  • Naloxone HCl injection 0.4 mg/mL and 1 mg/mL 

Compiled and summarized from Plumb’s Veterinary Drugs by Shannon Palermo, VMD

Information about this drug was adapted from Plumb’s Veterinary Drugs. Further details and more therapeutics can be found with a subscription at plumbsveterinarydrugs.com.

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