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This medication is used to treat known or suspected opioid (narcotic) overdose. Serious overdose symptoms may include unusual sleepiness, unusual difficulty waking up, or breathing problems (ranging from slow/shallow breathing to no breathing). Other symptoms of overdose may include very small "pinpoint" pupils, slow heartbeat, or low blood pressure. If someone has serious overdose symptoms but you are not sure if he or she has overdosed, give this medication right away anyway, since lasting slow/shallow breathing may cause permanent damage to the brain or death.Naloxone belongs to a class of drugs known as opioid antagonists. It works by blocking the effects of the opioid in the brain. This medication may not work as well to block the effects of certain types of opioids (mixed agonist/antagonists such as buprenorphine, pentazocine). With these types of opioids, blocking may be incomplete or you may need a higher dose of naloxone.Treatment of opioid overdose should also include breathing treatment (such as oxygen given through tubes in the nose, mechanical ventilation, artificial respiration).
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