The role of naloxone infusions in the treatment of overdoses of long half-life narcotic agonists: application to nor-methadone

Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1983 Feb;15(2):269-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.1983.tb01498.x.


This report describes the use of a naloxone infusion at a rate of 300 micrograms/h to provide constant antagonism of the respiratory depressant effects of a near fatal nor-methadone dose in a 2 year old boy. The terminal half-life for nor-methadone was calculated to be 13.5 h. The results indicate that a single dose of a narcotic antagonist with a short half-life (e.g. naloxone) will probably be inadequate to provide long lasting reversal of the effects of overdoses of long half-life narcotic agonists, and that continuous infusion may be the preferable to repeated bolus doses.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Apnea / chemically induced
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Parenteral
  • Male
  • Methadone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Methadone / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Methadone / blood
  • Methadone / poisoning
  • Naloxone / therapeutic use*


  • Naloxone
  • normethadone
  • Methadone