Naloxone, a counteracting agent used for reversing the effects of an overdose caused by heroin or other opioid painkillers, is a highly effective medicine used by the health care professionals. Also known by the brand-name Narcan, naloxone possesses the properties of reducing the impact of an opioid overdose. Available in the form of a pocket-size device, this antidote is injected into the person who has encountered an overdose. As the nasal spray version is also available, it has become easier to administer naloxone to patients.
As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), deaths due to an overdose of opioid painkillers have quadrupled in the United States since 1999. The main reasons behind the rapid climb in the numbers are the alarming rise and availability of prescription opioids and the increased rate of abuse of such drugs for self-medication purposes.
A substantial number of Americans struggling with chronic pain are prescribed opioid painkillers. Due to the extremely addictive characteristics of opioid painkillers, patients often get hooked on the medications. The misuse and abuse of opioid painkillers inflicts greater effects on the users.
Known for its immediate pain-relieving action, opioid abuse is often accompanied by a host of complications that includes paranoia, respiratory depression, nausea, brain damage due to hypoxia, liver damage, overdose and deaths.
In fact, the level of severity increases with the consumption of higher doses. An overdose of opioid painkillers could lead to death by slowing down one’s breathing, which can be countered within no time by the administration of naloxone. In order to spread adequate awareness on the ways to control overdose deaths, the current articles discusses the details of naloxone.
Naloxone works by getting attached to the similar parts of the cerebrum affected by heroin to invert respiratory depression that would otherwise lead to death. After injecting a dose, a person generally starts to breathe normally.
Many incidents of an overdose occur due to the typical practice of blending opioids with different drugs. Generally, naloxone works by reversing the impacts of opioids like heroin, methadone, morphine, opium, codeine or hydrocodone. However, it does not counter the impact of other substances like benzodiazepines, alcohol, or other sedatives or stimulants (e.g. cocaine and amphetamines). The effects of naloxone tend to tail off in a matter of an hour. In severe cases, more doses of naloxone may be required to save patients.
Though it can save a large number of lives, the most common side effects of naloxone emerge due to opioid withdrawal. Some of the common side effects associated with naloxone include chest pain, seizures, allergic reactions (e.g. hives, trouble breathing, tongue swelling, etc.).
A person in the absence of naloxone may also display numerous withdrawal symptoms, such as sweating, shaking fiercely and throwing up. However, the potential complications arising from an opioid overdose and withdrawal are more severe than the side effects of its antidote. Considering the role of naloxone in reversing the effects of opioids, its open access to the public has been vehemently opposed. It has also been alleged that naloxone impairs one’s thinking or reaction capacity.
An overdose often occurs when a person consumes the substance of abuse more than the medically recommended dose or mixes it with other substances. A person who has overdosed may exhibit certain signs, such as irregular heart rate, increased temperature and pulse rate, high respiratory rate and blood pressure, drowsiness, confusion, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, blood in bowel movements, etc.
The addiction to opioids can cause a range of debilitating health issues. It is often difficult to break-free oneself from such potent and highly toxic drugs. However, with proper guidance and support, one can effectively come out successfully from the deathly effects of opioids.
If you or your loved one is addicted to a substance and looking for the right guidance, contact the Detox Facilities Texas to get details about the evidence-based rapid detox centers in Texas. Call at our 24/7 helpline 866-671-4308 or chat online with a representative to know more about the various detox centers in Texas.