NALOXONE HYDROCHLORIDE — naloxone hydrochloride injection, solution
Somerset Therapeutics, LLC
Naloxone Hydrochloride Injection, USP is a sterile, nonpyrogenic solution of naloxone hydrochloride in water for injection. Each milliliter (mL) contains 0.4 mg naloxone hydrochloride and sodium chloride to adjust tonicity in water for injection. May contain hydrochloric acid for pH adjustment; pH 4.0 (3.0 to 6.5).
The single-dose solution contains no bacteriostat, antimicrobial agent or added buffer (except for pH adjustment) and is intended for use only as a single-dose injection. When smaller doses are required, the unused portion should be discarded.
Naloxone Hydrochloride Injection, USP may be administered intravenously, intramuscularly, or subcutaneously.
Naloxone, an opioid antagonist, is a synthetic congener of oxymorphone. It differs from oxymorphone in that the methyl group on the nitrogen atom is replaced by an allyl group.
Naloxone Hydrochloride, USP is chemically designated 17-Allyl-4,5α-epoxy-3,14-dihydroxymorphinan-6-one hydrochloride (C19 H21 NO4 • HCl), a white to slightly off-white powder soluble in water, in dilute acids, and in strong alkali; slightly soluble in alcohol; practically insoluble in ether and chloroform. It has a molecular weight of 363.84. It has the following structural formula:
Naloxone prevents or reverses the effects of opioids including respiratory depression, sedation and hypotension. Also, Naloxone can reverse the psychotomimetic and dysphoric effects of agonist-antagonists such as pentazocine.
Naloxone is an essentially pure opioid antagonist, i.e., it does not possess the “agonistic” or morphine-like properties characteristic of other opioid antagonists. When administered in usual doses and in the absence of opioids or agonistic effects of other opioid antagonists, it exhibits essentially no pharmacologic activity.
Naloxone has not been shown to produce tolerance or cause physical or psychological dependence. In the presence of physical dependence on opioids, naloxone will produce withdrawal symptoms. However, in the presence of opioid dependence, opiate withdrawal symptoms may appear within minutes of naloxone administration and will subside in about 2 hours. The severity and duration of the withdrawal syndrome are related to the dose of naloxone and to the degree and type of opioid dependence.
While the mechanism of action of naloxone is not fully understood, in vitro evidence suggests that naloxone antagonizes opioid effects by competing for the mu, kappa, and sigma opiate receptor sites in the CNS, with the greatest affinity for the mu receptor.
When naloxone hydrochloride is administered intravenously, the onset of action is generally apparent within two minutes; the onset of action is slightly less rapid when it is administered subcutaneously or intramuscularly. The duration of action is dependent upon the dose and route of administration of naloxone hydrochloride. Intramuscular administration produces a more prolonged effect than intravenous administration. Since the duration of action of naloxone may be shorter than that of some opiates, the effects of the opiate may return as the effects of naloxone dissipates.
The requirement for repeat doses of naloxone, however, will also be dependent upon the amount, type and route of administration of the opioid being antagonized.
Naloxone has been shown in some cases of septic shock to produce a rise in blood pressure that may last up to several hours; however this pressor response has not been demonstrated to improve patient survival. In some studies, treatment with naloxone in the setting of septic shock has been associated with adverse effects, including agitation, nausea and vomiting, pulmonary edema, hypotension, cardiac arrhythmias, and seizures. The decision to use naloxone in septic shock should be exercised with caution, particularly in patients who may have underlying pain or have previously received opioid therapy and may have developed opioid tolerance.
Because of the limited number of patients who have been treated, optimal dosage and treatment regimens have not been established.
Following parenteral administration, naloxone is rapidly distributed in the body and readily crosses the placenta. Plasma protein binding occurs but is relatively weak. Plasma albumin is the major binding constituent but significant binding of naloxone also occurs to plasma constituents other than albumin. It is not known whether naloxone is excreted into human milk.
Naloxone is metabolized in the liver primarily by glucuronide conjugation with naloxone-3-glucuronide as the major metabolite. In one study, the serum half-life in adults ranged from 30 to 81 minutes (mean 64 ± 12 minutes). In a neonatal study, the mean plasma half-life was observed to be 3.1 ± 0.5 hours. After an oral or intravenous dose, about 25 to 40% of the drug is excreted as metabolites in urine within 6 hours, about 50% in 24 hours, and 60 to 70% in 72 hours.
Naloxone Hydrochloride Injection is indicated for the complete or partial reversal of opioid depression, including respiratory depression, induced by natural and synthetic opioids including propoxyphene, methadone, and certain mixed agonist-antagonist analgesics: nalbuphine, pentazocine, butorphanol, and cyclazocine. Naloxone hydrochloride is also indicated for the diagnosis of suspected or known acute opioid overdosage.
Naloxone hydrochloride injection should be administered cautiously to persons, including newborns of mothers, who are known or suspected to be physically dependent on opioids. In such cases an abrupt and complete reversal of opioid effects may precipitate an acute withdrawal syndrome.
The signs and symptoms of opioid withdrawal in a patient physically dependent on opioids may include, but are not limited to, the following: body aches, diarrhea, tachycardia, fever, runny nose, sneezing, piloerection, sweating, yawning, nausea or vomiting, nervousness, restlessness or irritability, shivering or trembling, abdominal cramps, weakness, and increased blood pressure. In the neonate, opioid withdrawal may also include: convulsions, excessive crying, and hyperactive reflexes.
The patient who has satisfactorily responded to naloxone should be kept under continued surveillance and repeated doses of naloxone should be administered, as necessary, since the duration of action of some opioids may exceed that of naloxone.
Naloxone is not effective against respiratory depression due to non-opioid drugs and in the management of acute toxicity caused by levopropoxyphene. Reversal of respiratory depression by partial agonists or mixed agonist/antagonists, such as buprenorphine and pentazocine, may be incomplete or require higher doses of naloxone. If an incomplete response occurs, respirations should be mechanically assisted as clinically indicated.
In addition to naloxone, other resuscitative measures such as maintenance of a free airway, artificial ventilation, cardiac massage, and vasopressor agents should be available and employed when necessary to counteract acute opioid poisoning.
Abrupt postoperative reversal of opioid depression may result in nausea, vomiting, sweating, tremulousness, tachycardia, increased blood pressure, seizures, ventricular tachycardia and fibrillation, pulmonary edema, and cardiac arrest which may result in death. Excessive doses of naloxone in postoperative patients may result in significant reversal of analgesia and may cause agitation (see PRECAUTIONS and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION; Usage in Adults, Postoperative Opioid Depression).
Several instances of hypotension, hypertension, ventricular tachycardia and fibrillation, pulmonary edema, and cardiac arrest have been reported in postoperative patients. Death, coma, and encephalopathy have been reported as sequelae of these events. These have occurred in patients most of whom had pre-existing cardiovascular disorders or received other drugs which may have similar adverse cardiovascular effects. Although a direct cause and effect relationship has not been established, naloxone should be used with caution in patients with pre-existing cardiac disease or patients who have received medications with potential adverse cardiovascular effects such as hypotension, ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation and pulmonary edema. It has been suggested that the pathogenesis of pulmonary edema associated with the use of naloxone is similar to neurogenic pulmonary edema, i.e., a centrally mediated massive catecholamine response leading to a dramatic shift of blood volume into the pulmonary vascular bed resulting in increased hydrostatic pressures.
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