Prescription Drug Information: NALOXONE HYDROCHLORIDE

NALOXONE HYDROCHLORIDE- naloxone hydrochloride injection
General Injectables & Vaccines, Inc

DESCRIPTION

NALOXONE HYDROCHLORIDE
INJECTION, USP
Opioid Antagonist

Rx Only

Naloxone hydrochloride, an opioid antagonist, is a synthetic congener of oxymorphone. In structure it differs from oxymorphone in that the methyl group on the nitrogen atom is replaced by an allyl group.

NALOXONE HYDROCHLORIDE(-)-17-Allyl-4,5α-epoxy-3,14-dihydroxymorphinan-6-one hydrochloride

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Naloxone hydrochloride occurs as a white to slightly off-white powder, and is soluble in water, in dilute acids, and in strong alkali; slightly soluble in alcohol; practically insoluble in ether and in chloroform.

Naloxone Hydrochloride Injection is available as a sterile solution for intravenous, intramuscular and subcutaneous administration in 1 mg/mL concentration. pH is adjusted to 3.5 ± 0.5 with hydrochloric acid. Each mL also contains 8.35 mg of sodium chloride. Naloxone Hydrochloride Injection is preservative-free.

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

Complete or Partial Reversal of Opioid Depression

Naloxone hydrochloride prevents or reverses the effects of opioids including respiratory depression, sedation, and hypotension. Also, it can reverse the psychotomimetic and dysphoric effects of agonist-antagonist such as pentazocine.

Naloxone hydrochloride 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 hydrochloride has not been shown to produce tolerance or cause physical or psychological dependence. In the presence of physical dependence on opioids, naloxone hydrochloride will produce withdrawal symptoms. However, in the presence of opioid dependence, opiate withdrawal symptoms may appear within minutes of naloxone hydrochloride administration and subside in about 2 hours. The severity and duration of the withdrawal syndrome are related to the dose of naloxone hydrochloride and to the degree and type of opioid dependence.
While the mechanism of action of naloxone hydrochloride is not fully understood, in vitro evidence suggests that naloxone hydrochloride antagonizes opioid effects by competing for the μ, κ and σ opiate receptor sites in the CNS, with the greatest affinity for the μ receptor.

When naloxone hydrochloride is administered intravenously (I.V.), the onset of action is generally apparent within two minutes. The onset of action is slightly less rapid when it is administered subcutaneously (S.C.) or intramuscularly (I.M.). 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 hydrochloride may be shorter than that of some opiates, the effect of the opiate may return as the effects of naloxone hydrochloride dissipates. The requirement for repeat doses of naloxone hydrochloride will also be dependent upon the amount, type and route of administration of the opioid being antagonized.

Adjunctive Use in Septic Shock

Naloxone hydrochloride 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 hydrochloride 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 hydrochloride 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.

Complete or Partial Reversal of Opioid Depression
Naloxone hydrochloride prevents or reverses the effects of opioids including respiratory depression, sedation, and hypotension. Also, it can reverse the psychotomimetic and dysphoric effects of agonist-antagonist such as pentazocine.

Naloxone hydrochloride 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 hydrochloride has not been shown to produce tolerance or cause physical or psychological dependence. In the presence of physical dependence on opioids, naloxone hydrochloride will produce withdrawal symptoms. However, in the presence of opioid dependence, opiate withdrawal symptoms may appear within minutes of naloxone hydrochloride administration and subside in about 2 hours. The severity and duration of the withdrawal syndrome are related to the dose of naloxone hydrochloride and to the degree and type of opioid dependence.

While the mechanism of action of naloxone hydrochloride is not fully understood, in vitro evidence suggests that the naloxone hydrochloride antagonizes opioid effects by competing for the u, k and o opiate receptor sites in the CNS, with the greatest affinity for the u receptor.

When naloxone hydrochloride is administered intravenously (I.V.), the onset of action is generally apparent within two minutes. The onset of action is slightly less rapid when it is administered subcutaneously (S.C.) or intramuscularly (I.M.). 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 hydrochloride may be shorter than that of some opiates, the effect of the opiate may return as the effects of naloxone hydrochloride dissipates. The requirement for repeat doses of naloxone hydrochloride will also be dependent upon the amount, type and route of administration of the opioid being antagonized.

Adjunctive Use in Septic Shock
Naloxone hydrochloride 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 hydrochloride 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 hydrochloride 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.

PHARMACOKINETICS

Distribution

Following parenteral administration, naloxone hydrochloride 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.

Metabolism and Elimination

Naloxone hydrochloride is metabolized in the liver, primarily by glucuronide conjugation with naloxone-3-glucoronide 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 25-40% of the drug is excreted as metabolites in urine within 6 hours, about 50% in 24 hours, and 60-70% in 72 hours.

Distribution
Following parenteral administration, naloxone hydrochloride 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.

Metabolism and Elimination
Naloxone hydrochloride is metabolized in the liver, primarily by glucuronide conjugation with naloxone-3-glucoronide 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 intravenouse dose, about 25-40% of the drug is excreted as metabolites in urine within 6 hours, about 50% in 24 hours, and 60-70% in 72 hours.

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

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 and butorphanol and cyclazocine. Naloxone hydrochloride is also indicated for the diagnosis of suspected or known acute opioid overdosage.

Naloxone hydrochloride injection may be useful as an adjunctive agent to increase blood pressure in the management of septic shock. (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY; Adjunctive Use in Septic Shock).

CONTRAINDICATIONS

Naloxone hydrochloride injection is contraindicated in patients known to be hypersensitive to it or to any of the other ingredients in naloxone hydrochloride.

WARNINGS

Drug Dependence

Naloxone hydrochloride 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.

Repeat Administration

The patient who has satisfactorily responded to naloxone hydrochloride should be kept under continued surveillance and repeated doses of naloxone hydrochloride should be administered, as necessary, since the duration of action of some opioids may exceed that of naloxone hydrochloride.

Respiratory Depression due to Other Drugs

Naloxone hydrochloride 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.

Drug Dependence
Naloxone hydrochloride 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.

Repeat Administration
The patient who has satisfactorily responded to naloxone hydrochloride should be kept under continued surveillance and repeated doses of naloxone hydrochloride should be administered, as necessary, since the duration of action of some opioids may exceed that of naloxone hydrochloride.

Respiratory Depression due to Other Drugs
Naloxone hydrochloride 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.

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