Bromocriptine Brand Name: Buprenorphine (Naloxone)
Brand Name: Naloxone is a medication which reverses opiate overdose. It is commonly known as Narcan or nalmefene. The drug was developed by Pfizer Inc., and it is manufactured under license from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd..
The main purpose of using this drug is to reverse opioid overdoses caused by heroin, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone and other opioids. However, there are several different formulations of buprenorphine available. These include extended release tablets (IR), extended release spray (ER) and sublingual tablets (SL).
Each formulation differs slightly in terms of absorption rate and duration of action.
How Does Buprenorphine Work?
When taken orally, buprenorphine blocks the euphoric effect of opioids such as heroin and morphine. This results in a slower onset of withdrawal symptoms than with other drugs like methadone. When taken sublingually, buprenorphine acts directly on receptors in the brain to block pain signals associated with physical trauma. It also works by attaching to the same receptors that other drugs do, blocking them and preventing them from getting a “fix”.
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking Naloxone?
You should talk to your healthcare provider if you have:
Severe asthma or breathing problems
Bleeding disorder such as hemophilia
Pre-existing heart disease or a history of heart problems.
What Problems Should I Call My Doctor Immediate Attention For?
Severe allergic reactions include rash, itching, hives, breathlessness, swollen lips or face, or swollen tongue.
A fast or irregular heartbeat.
Upset stomach, throwing up, diarrhea, constipation, or any other digestive issues.
Shortness of breath or trouble breathing.
Severe or persistent itching.
Pain or burning sensation in the chest or stomach.
Swelling of feet or ankles.
Severe toothache, headache, or any other pain.
Anxiety, restlessness, or trouble sleeping.
Heart palpitations or a racing heart beat.
Any changes in vision.
Feeling lightheaded when standing up, fainting.
Severe mood swings or thoughts of suicide.
Blackouts or loss of consciousness.
Any sores or ulcers in your mouth.
Excessive sweating, especially at night.
Blurred vision or any other change in vision.
Chest pain or discomfort.
A hard time breathing, shortness of breath, wheezing.
Severe or worsening cough.
Breathing problems in general.
Severe itching, or skin problems.
Yellowing of the skin or eyes.
Vomiting blood or bloody stool.
Severe or persistent abdominal pain.
Severe rash or hives.
Side effects related to use of opioid drugs, such as slow breathing, shallow breathing, nausea, constipation, vomiting, sweating, flushing, etc.
Can I Still Take Other Drugs With Naloxone?
Opioid drugs, such as buprenorphine, are used to ease the effects of opioid withdrawal and decrease cravings. This is why benzodiazepines, like alprazolam (Xanax), are widely considered unsafe to use with this medication. Opioid drugs also include certain pain medications and prescription drugs like codeine and morphine. It is important to avoid using these while taking buprenorphine or naloxone as well.
NOTE: There is some evidence to suggest that buprenorphine may increase the effects of benzodiazepines. If you are taking any of these types of drugs, do not stop taking them without talking to your doctor first.
If you need emergency treatment for respiratory depression or overdose, naloxone will reverse the effects and allow time for further treatment. You may require further emergency treatment after the effects wear off. However, do not take any more buprenorphine within seven days of taking naloxone.
If you have any questions about this interaction, please contact your healthcare provider before taking the drugs.
What Should I Know About Taking Naloxone Orally?
Naloxone comes in tablet and sublingual (under the tongue) forms. The tablet form is taken orally. It can be taken with or without food. Opioid drugs slow down bowel function, so it is best to take this medication at least one hour after eating.
Naloxone stays active in your body for about 48 hours. You may only need to take it once and your doctor will help you determine the best amount for you.
Taking any opioid drugs within 72 hours of taking this medication may result in a reversal of its effects, so don’t do it. If you are still experiencing withdrawal when taking naloxone, call your doctor immediately.
What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Naloxone Orally?
Side effects are uncommon but may include:
Nausea and vomiting.
Seizures or tremors.
Increased heart rate and blood pressure.
Sedation or drowsiness.
Slowed breathing and respiratory depression.
A fast heartbeat or irregular heartbeat.
If you experience any of these less serious side effects, they should go away with time. Talk to your healthcare provider if they don’t or if any side effects become severe or bothersome.
NOTE: Opioid withdrawal can cause severe hunger, restlessness and sleep problems. You may be unable to distinguish the new symptoms from the original ones that caused you to seek treatment in the first place. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you are having problems with stress, anxiety or worsening depression.
Discuss whether these problems have anything to do with your decision to stop opioid drugs.
What Should I Know About Taking The Intravenous Form Of Naloxone?
The drug comes in both a branded and generic form. It can be used in hospital emergency rooms for people who have overdosed on opioids.
You can also get a prescription for the drug to use for yourself or a family member from your physician. Your doctor will help determine the best dosage for you. Most people only need one dose, but some may need to be treated more than once.
Naloxone has some side effects which may include an allergic reaction, vomiting, heavy sweating, and tremors.
If you have a history of drug or alcohol problems and experience any of these side effects after taking the medication, call your doctor immediately.
What If I Am Allergic To Naloxone Or Any Other Opioid Antagonist?
You should not take this medication if you are allergic to naloxone or any other opioid antagonist. Tell your doctor about any allergies you have before beginning treatment.
Also be aware that the allergic reaction may show up a bit differently than what you have experienced in the past with other drugs. You may notice an allergy symptoms right away or they may develop over the next few hours. You may need to get treatment to reverse the effects of the opioid drug that is causing it.
What If The Opioid Overdose Was Not Successfully Reversed?
If you still have symptoms of an overdose after treatment with naloxone, seek immediate medical help.
What If I Take Too Much Naloxone Or Overdose On An Opioid Drug?
If an opioid overdose is not treated right away, death may occur. Get emergency medical help if you believe that you have used too much of an opioid drug or if someone else has.
Always be sure to have naloxone on hand in case of an accidental overdose. Naloxone is available as a standalone medication or in combination with other drugs, including certain opioid pain relievers.
If you get naloxone from a pharmacy, your pharmacist can tell you what to do in an emergency.
If you have a prescription for naloxone, read the patient instructions that come with the medication.
An opioid overdose usually causes respiratory failure. Naloxone is used to reverse this effect by causing your body to resume normal breathing. It also causes immediate relief from opioid agonist effects in the brain and nervous system.
Tell family or friends who might need to use naloxone in an emergency how to do so. If you have children who are old enough to understand, make sure they know how to call 911 and that they should do so if they believe that someone has used too much of an opioid drug or has experienced an overdose.
How Should Naloxone Be Stored?
Naloxone is typically only available at hospitals, pharmacies, and through healthcare providers. It should be kept in a safe place and out of the reach of children. If a child accidentally ingests naloxone, seek immediate medical help.
If you have any questions about this medication, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
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