Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Reversal of narcotic depression in the neonate by nalozone.

Br Med J 1976; 2 doi: (Published 06 November 1976) Cite this as: Br Med J 1976;2:1098
  1. J M Evans,
  2. M I Hogg,
  3. M Rosen


    Naloxone 40 mug was administered intravenously one minute after birth to 20 out of 44 neonates whose mother had been given pethidine in labour. These neonates were compared with 20 others whose mothers had had only lumbar epidural block. Alveolar PCO2, alveolar ventilation, and ventilatory rate were measured 10 and 30 minutes after birth. The untreated neonates of mothers who had had pethidine showed significant ventilatory depression compared with infants in the epidural and naloxone-treated groups. The naloxone-treated neonates were comparable with the epidural group, although the effects of naloxone were diminishing at 30 minutes. Naloxone is an effective narcotic antagonist which should be considered to be the drug of choice for treating narcotic depression in the neonate.