Naloxone-induced pulmonary edema

Ann Emerg Med. 1987 Nov;16(11):1294-6. doi: 10.1016/s0196-0644(87)80244-5.


We present the case of a 68-year-old woman with acute pulmonary edema secondary to the administration of naloxone to reverse an inadvertent narcotic overdose. The patient presented following a 12-hour history of increasingly bizarre behavior and confusion. A total IV dose of 1.6 mg naloxone was administered in an attempt to reverse the suspected overconsumption of a codeine-containing cough suppressant. She immediately became agitated, tachycardic, and diaphoretic; a clinical diagnosis of acute pulmonary edema was made. Following treatment with furosemide, nitroglycerin, and morphine sulfate, the patient recovered completely without further incident. Although naloxone is thought to be a safe drug with few complications, it should not be used indiscriminantly, and the smallest doses necessary to elicit the desired response should be used.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aged
  • Codeine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Naloxone / adverse effects*
  • Pulmonary Edema / chemically induced*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / etiology


  • Naloxone
  • Codeine