Naloxone treats the side effects of opioids, opioid overdose, and septic shock.

Naloxone Overview


Naloxone is a prescription medication used to treat the side effects of opioids, opioid overdose, and septic shock. Naloxone hydrochloride is a narcotic antagonist, which works by blocking the effects of opiates in the body.

This medication is available in an injectable form to be given directly into a vein (IV), the muscle (IM), or directly under the skin (SQ).

Common side effects of naloxone include opioid withdrawal (if patient is dependent), low blood pressure and high blood pressure.

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Uses of Naloxone

Naloxone is a prescription medication used to treat the side effects of opioids, opioid overdose, and septic shock. 

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Naloxone Brand Names

Naloxone may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Naloxone Drug Class

Naloxone is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Naloxone

Serious side effects have been reported with naloxone. See the “Naloxone Precautions” section.

Common side effects of naloxone include the following:

  • Changes in heart rhythm
  • Shortness of breath
  • Reversal of analgesia
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Fast heart rate
  • Trembling
  • Seizures
  • Pulmonary Edema
  • Cardiac Arrest
  • Paraesthesia
  • Agitation
  • Hallucinations
  • Respiratory Depression
  • Hypoxia
  • Injection Site Reactions
  • Low blood pressure
  • Increased Blood Pressure
  • Hot flushes
  • Flushing

This is not a complete list of naloxone side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information. Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Naloxone Interactions

No naloxone drug interactions have been studied by the manufacturer. However, you should tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Not all drug interactions are known or reported and new drug interactions are continually being reported.


Naloxone Precautions



Naloxone Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of naloxone, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

Inform MD

Before taking naloxone, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to naloxone or to any of its ingredients
  • have or have had a heart condition
  • have heart problems
  • have an addiction or dependance on any substance
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

Naloxone and Pregnancy

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Naloxone falls into category C. There are no well-controlled studies that have been done in pregnant women. Naloxone should be used during pregnancy only if the possible benefit outweighs the possible risk to the unborn baby.

Naloxone and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

It is not known if naloxone crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this medication, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication. Your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using naloxone.

Naloxone Usage

Take naloxone exactly as prescribed. This medication is available in an injectable form to be given directly into a vein (IV), muscle (IM),  or directly under the skin (SQ). 

Naloxone Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication
  • your weight
  • your height
  • your age
  • your gender

The recommended dose of Evzio (naloxone) for the treatment of opioid emergencies is 0.4mg once, with an additional dose if needed (as determined by a qualified healthcare provider).


Naloxone Overdose

If you take too much naloxone, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

If naloxone is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.