What is Naloxone? How does it work?

According to the US state of department health, Preliminary data show 418 overdose deaths in the first three months of 2021 compared to 378 overdose deaths in the first three months of 2020. Of the 418 overdose deaths in 2021, 46% (191) of these deaths are linked to fentanyl. 

What is Naloxone?

Naloxone is a medication that is used to quickly reverse an opioid overdose. The US Food and Drug Administration approves an easy-to-use nasal spray version since it can be supplied (given) right away. Naloxone is also available in an injectable syringe for use by emergency medical personnel.

How does it Work?

Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that is both non-selective and competitive. It acts by reversing the effects of opioids on the central nervous and respiratory systems. It works by blocking opioid receptor sites, which aids in the reversal of overdose symptoms.

What are its Side Effects?

Although Naloxone side effects are uncommon, they can occur in some circumstances. People who get hives or swelling in their face, lips, or throat as a result of an allergic response should seek medical attention right once.

Naloxone use might generate symptoms that are comparable to those of opiate withdrawal. These signs and symptoms includes:

  • Restless, or irritative behaviour
  • Aches in the body
  • Weakness or dizziness
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, or stomach pain are all symptoms of a stomach bug.
  • Fever, chills, or goosebumps are all symptoms of a fever.
  • In the absence of a cold, sneezing or a runny nose
  • Heart rate that is increased.
  • Blood pressure that is too high

Time Duration of a Naloxone dose in the body

The efficacy of naloxone lasts for around 30-to-90 minutes after it is given to reverse the effects of opiate overdoses.

While the medication’s half-life is short, the medication itself can linger in your system for a long time.

The length of time it stays in your body depends on a number of factors, including your age, liver function, and weight.

The length of time a medicine stays in the system is also determined by how the patient consumes it.

It’s important to remember that, even if an opioid overdose is successfully reversed, the effects of opioids, such as respiratory arrest, can remain for several hours. This means that the Naloxone may wear off before the opioids do, potentially placing the person at risk of another overdose.

Up to 40% of the metabolites are eliminated within six hours of taking it orally or intravenously. Within 24 hours, 50% of the substance will be eliminated, and 70% within 72 hours. All metabolites of Naloxone should have departed the system within a week or less.