Naloxone (Narcan)


  • Miscellaneous


  • Opiate antidote


  • Complete or partial reversal of narcotic depression, including respiratory depression

  • Diagnosis of suspected acute opioid overdose


  • Pregnancy category B

  • Physical narcotic dependency

  • Pre-existing cardiovascular disorders

Adverse Reactions (Side Effects):

  • CNS: seizures, tremulousness

  • CV: hypertension, hypotension, tachycardia, ventricular dysrhythmia

  • GI: nausea, vomiting

  • RESP: pulmonary edema

  • SKIN: sweating

  • MISC: reversal of anesthesia


Administered subcutaneously, intramuscularly, intravenously

  • Adult:            

    • Narcotic overdose (known or suspected): 

      • SC/IM/IV 0.4-2mg initially, repeat at 2-3 minute intervals up to 10mg, if no response after 10mg reevaluate diagnosis

    • Postoperative narcotic depression (partial reversal): 

      • IV 0.1-0.2mg at 2-3 minute intervals to desired level of reversal; repeat doses may be required within 1-2 hour intervals

  • Child:            

    • Narcotic overdose (known or suspected): 

      • SC/IM/IV 0.01 mg/kg initially, give subsequent doses of 0.01 mg/kg as needed at 2-3 minute intervals

    • Postoperative narcotic depression (partial reversal): 

      • IV 0.005-0.01mg every 2-3 minutes to desired degree of reversal


  • Duration of action of some narcotics may exceed that of naloxone; repeat doses as needed



Bureau of Medicine and Surgery
Department of the Navy
2300 E Street NW
Washington, D.C.

Operational Medicine 2001
 Health Care in Military Settings
CAPT Michael John Hughey, MC, USNR
 May 1, 2001

United States Special Operations Command
7701 Tampa Point Blvd.
MacDill AFB, Florida

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