Narcan Preventing and Reverse Overdoses
Narcan is a pharmaceutical that is considered to be a pure opioid antagonist. It's a synthetic pharmaceutical similar to oxymorphone, but does not exhibit the same side effects as drugs in the morphine category do. So far it has been used in some emergency rooms and inpatient detoxification centers in order to prevent or reverse possible opioid overdoses. As of yet the drug is not well-known for its preventative and reversal qualities; however, that may change should further research and development prove that this medication is as helpful to opioid addicts as it seems.
Being a pure opioid antagonist, Narcan does not exhibit the typical agonistic properties common to other opioid antagonists. It is used often to reverse opioid depression and overdose. When administered, it has been proven to reverse effects, including: respiratory depression, sedation, and hypotension. It can also reverse the psychotomimetic and dysphoric effects.
Something good about the use of Narcan, in preventing or reversing opioid overdoses, is that the medication does not build a tolerance or dependence in the body. This means that the medication can be used safely in addicts without fear of them switching their addiction to this alternative drug.
On another note, the use of Narcan in an opioid addicted person will result in abrupt withdrawal symptoms. Whether used in treatment to counteract opiates or in a hospital setting in order to reverse an overdose, withdrawal symptoms are likely to occur very quickly. The method of ingestion does affect the speed to which a person will experience withdrawal symptoms due to Narcan. Narcan is generally administered through an IV or, intravenously. In this method it takes only a few minutes before withdrawal effects become apparent. Other ways Narcan is administered is by injection into the muscle tissue or below the skin. Both of these manners of administration take a bit longer than the IV option.
The upside to the sharp withdrawals produced in opiate addicted users from use of Narcan, is that the negative symptoms typically subside within two hours or just over. This time frame, along with the severity of the withdrawal symptoms, do vary however, according to the severity of the opioid addiction and how much Narcan is taken.
In individuals who are not addicted to opiates, it has been found that Narcan makes little to no effect in the body. This makes it a supreme combatant to opioid dependency and accidental overdose. With further research and development, Narcan could become one of the greatest weapons available in preventing opioid overdose deaths and severe addiction.
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