Naloxone nasal spray shows potential for opioid-overdose reversal
A study of nasally administered opioid antagonist, naloxone, has shown promising results
Source: Tribune Content Agency LLC / Alamy Stock Photo
Naloxone is a powerful opioid antagonist that can reverse overdose from drugs such as heroin. Naloxone nasal sprays have been developed as an alternative to injectable naloxone devices. However, there are only limited pharmacokinetic data on the bioavailability of nasally administered naloxone.
In a paper in Addiction (16 November 2017), researchers administered 38 healthy volunteers with 5 different doses of naloxone: 1mg, 2mg and 4mg intranasally; 0.4mg intramuscularly; and 0.4mg intravenously.
They found that all intranasal doses resulted in dose-dependent blood plasma naloxone levels that peaked within 15–30 minutes. The 2mg intranasal dose most closely mimicked early blood concentrations of the standard intramuscular dose (0.4mg) in the 10 minutes post-dosing and maintained higher plateau levels for 2 hours after.
The team said the results support the potential of naloxone nasal spray for opioid-overdose reversal, but further research is needed to test administration in people with opioid-use disorders.
Citation: Clinical Pharmacist DOI: 10.1211/CP.2018.20204213
Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press
FASTtrack: Pharmacology is a study guide providing an account of drug action, as well as dealing with molecular pharmacology at a more advanced level.£25.00
Introduction to Pharmaceutical Calculations is an essential study aid for pharmacy students. The book contains worked examples and sample questions and answers.£33.00
Introduction to Renal Therapeutics covers all aspects of drug use in renal failure. Shows the role of the pharmacist in patient care for chronic kidney disease.£38.00
A comprehensive study guide which summarises the basic principles in pharmacy practice. Clear, bulleted information for quick reference.£43.00
A study aid with 800 MCQs. Assess your knowledge, analytical skills, and ability to apply this knowledge base in clinical practice.£25.00