Intranasal naloxone for the treatment of suspected heroin overdose

Kerr, Debra, Dietze, Paul and Kelly, Anee-Maree 2008, Intranasal naloxone for the treatment of suspected heroin overdose, Addiction, vol. 103, no. 3, pp. 379-386, doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2007.02097.x.

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Title Intranasal naloxone for the treatment of suspected heroin overdose
Author(s) Kerr, DebraORCID iD for Kerr, Debra
Dietze, Paul
Kelly, Anee-Maree
Journal name Addiction
Volume number 103
Issue number 3
Start page 379
End page 386
Total pages 8
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Place of publication Chichester, Eng.
Publication date 2008-03
ISSN 0965-2140
Keyword(s) heroin
Summary AIMS: This paper reviews available literature regarding the effectiveness, safety and utility of intranasal (i.n.) naloxone for the treatment of heroin overdose.

METHODS: Scientific literature in the form of published articles during the period January 1984 to August 2007 were identified by searching several databases including Medline, Cinahl and Embase for the following terms: naloxone, narcan, intranasal, nose. The data extracted included study design, patient selection, numbers, outcomes and adverse events.

RESULTS: Reports of the pharmacological investigation and administration of i.n. naloxone for heroin overdose are included in this review. Treatment of heroin overdose by administration of i.n. naloxone has been introduced as first-line treatment in some jurisdictions in North America, and is currently under investigation in Australia.

CONCLUSION: Currently there is not enough evidence to support i.n. naloxone as first-line intervention by paramedics for treatment of heroin overdose in the pre-hospital setting. Further research is required to confirm its clinical effectiveness, safety and utility. If proved effective, the i.n. route may be useful for drug administration in community settings (including peer-based administration), as it reduces risk of needlestick injury in a population at higher risk of blood-borne viruses. Problematically, naloxone is not manufactured currently in an ideal form for i.n. administration.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2007.02097.x
Field of Research 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2008, The Authors
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