Naloxone

Naloxone

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    Naloxone hydrochloride is a drug that can reverse opioid overdose. It can also be used to treat respiratory depression during pain management or after an anesthetic. It works by blocking opioid drugs, such as heroin and methadone, from attaching to opioid receptors in the brain.

  • How is it used?

    Naloxone can be injected intravenously (into a vein) or intramuscularly (into a muscle) by medical professionals, such as paramedics. It can also be administered by family and friends of people who use opiates. Speak with your doctor for more information. It can also be taken as a nasal spray; however, naloxone nasal spray is not registered for use in Ireland at this time.

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    Who can administer Naloxone?

    Naloxone can be administered by authorised medical personnel such as ambulance officers. It can also be purchased over the counter at pharmacies or via prescription as an ampoule or pre-filled five dose syringe.

  • Effects of naloxone

    Naloxone cannot be used to get high, so it has no potential for misuse. There is no evidence that extended use of naloxone can cause harmful physical effects or dependence. People who take naloxone do not develop a tolerance to its effects and there have been no reported deaths from naloxone overdose.

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Side Effects of Naloxone

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    The following side effects may be experienced:

    Nausea and vomiting

    Wheezy breathing

    Chest tightness

    Intense rash with itching

    High blood pressure

    Irregular heartbeat

    Seizures

    Acute allergic reaction with swelling of the face, lips, tongue and throat

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    The following side effects may be experienced:

    Nausea and vomiting

    Wheezy breathing

    Chest tightness

    Intense rash with itching

    High blood pressure

    Irregular heartbeat

    Seizures

    Acute allergic reaction with swelling of the face, lips, tongue and throat