"Nov. 2, 2012 -- Safety steps taken in the wake of the fungal meningitis outbreak have worsened drug shortages, raising questions about whether the U.S. must choose between the safety and the availability of crucial medicines.
PARENTERAL ADMINISTRATION OF NARCOTICS IN PATIENTS RECEIVING EPIDURAL OR INTRATHECAL MORPHINE MAY RESULT IN OVERDOSAGE.
Overdosage of morphine is characterized by respiratory depression, with or without concomitant CNS depression. In severe overdosage, apnea, circulatory collapse, cardiac arrest and death may occur. Since respiratory arrest may result either through direct depression of the respiratory center or as the result of hypoxia, primary attention should be given to the establishment of adequate respiratory exchange through provision of a patent airway and institution of assisted, or controlled, ventilation. The narcotic antagonist, naloxone, is a specific antidote. An initial dose of 0.4 to 2 mg of naloxone should be administered intravenously, simultaneously with respiratory resuscitation. If the desired degree of counteraction and improvement in respiratory function is not obtained, naloxone may be repeated at 2- to 3-minute intervals. If no response is observed after 10 mg of naloxone has been administered, the diagnosis of narcotic-induced, or partial narcotic-induced, toxicity should be questioned. Intramuscular or subcutaneous administration may be used if the intravenous route is not available.
As the duration of effect of naloxone is considerably shorter than that of epidural or intrathecal morphine, repeated administration may be necessary. Patients should be closely observed for evidence of renarcotization.
DURAMORPH (morphine injection) is contraindicated in those medical conditions which would preclude the administration of opioids by the intravenous route—allergy to morphine or other opiates, acute bronchial asthma, upper airway obstruction.
DURAMORPH (morphine injection) , like all opioid analgesics, may cause severe hypotension in an individual whose ability to maintain blood pressure has already been compromised by a depleted blood volume or a concurrent administration of drugs, such as phenothiazines or general anesthetics. (See also PRECAUTIONS: Use with Other Central Nervous System Depressants.)This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Last reviewed on RxList: 10/29/2010
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