Naloxone Use in Medicine

WiseY wisey at
Sun Apr 23 01:05:26 EST 1995

David at (David Longley) writes:

>Can anuyone tell me if NALOXONE is used medically? If so, and anyone has
>personal experience (as a recipient or observer) please let me know.

Naloxone is very extensively used in medicine.  It is one of the most
commonly used drugs both in the operating room and emergency room for
reversal of opiates.  You may be interested to know that naloxone has also
been used in very high doses for the treatment of acute spinal cord
injury.  The standard dose of naloxone for reversal of heroin overdose is
typically less than 0.5 mg for the average size human.  The dose that we
used in a clinical trial of spinal cord injury was 5.4 mg/kg bolus
followed by 3.0 mg/kg/hour for 23 hours.  

More extensive literature references can be found in the following papers:
1. Shepard MJ, Bracken MB (1994).  The effect of methylprednisolone,
naloxone, and spinal cord trauma on four liver enzymes: observations from
NASCIS 2. National Acute Spinal Cord Injury Study.  Paraplegia 32: 236-45.
2. Bracken MB (1993).  Pharmacological treatment of acute spinal cord
injury: current status and future projects.  J Emerg Med 1: 43-8.
3. Bracken MB, Holford TR (1993).  Effects of timing of methylprednisolone
or naloxone administration on recovery of segmental and long-tract
neurological function in NASCIS 2.  J Neurosurg 79: 500-7.
4. Bracken MB, Shepard MJ, Collins WFJ, Holford TR, Baskin DS, et al.
(1992).  Methylprednisolone or naloxone treatment after acute spinal cord
injury: 1-year follow-up data.  Results of the second National Acute
Spinal Cord Injury Study.  J Neurosurg 76: 23-31.
5. Black P, Markowitz RS, Gillespie JA, Finkelstein SD (1991).  Naloxone
and experimental spinal cord injury: effect of varying dose and intensity
of injury.  J Neurotrauma 8: 157-71.
6. Bracken MB, Shepard MJ, Collins WF, Holford TR, Young W, et al. (1990).
 A randomized controlled trial of methylprednisolone or naloxone in the
treatment of acute spinal-cord injury:  Results of the Second National
Acute Spinal Cord Injury Study.  New Engl J Med 322: 1405-1411.
7. Young W, DeCrescito V, Flamm ES, Blight AR, Gruner JA (1988). 
Pharmacological therapy of acute spinal cord injury: studies of high dose
methylprednisolone and naloxone.  Clin Neurosurg 34: 675-397.

Wise Young
NYU Medical Center

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