Author(s): Bowdle TA
Abstract Share this page
Abstract A variety of drugs have been used to antagonize the respiratory depression caused by narcotics. Some of these drugs, such as nalorphine, naloxone, butorphanol, and nalbuphine, are opiates, which interact directly with opiate receptors. Others, such as physostigmine, doxapram, and aminophylline, probably act indirectly by stimulating neuronal pathways involved in the regulation of ventilation. None of these drugs is ideal, and all have adverse side effects. Cardiovascular instability and eradication of analgesia have been troublesome, especially with the use of naloxone. The newer mixed agonist-antagonist agents, butorphanol and nalbuphine, may have significant advantages compared with naloxone. The purpose of this review is to summarize the pharmacology of the common narcotic antagonists, with an emphasis on obtaining acceptable results while avoiding adverse side effects.
This article was published in Acute Care
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy