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Naloxone for Itching

Naloxone hydrochloride (Narcan®) is a medicine approved to reverse the effects of high doses of opioid drugs. It can also help increase blood pressure in people with septic shock.
All opioid medications can cause life-threatening effects, such as slowed and shallow breathing (known as respiratory depression), especially when used in high doses. Naloxone is approved to help reverse respiratory depression and other potentially dangerous side effects that can result from an opioid overdose or in cases where high opioid doses are given, such as during surgery or for the treatment of cancer pain.
There are also some off-label, or unapproved, uses for naloxone. For example, naloxone can be used off-label to treat itching and constipation caused by an opioid overdose.
(To learn more, click What Is Naloxone Used For?. This full-length article takes a closer look at approved and unapproved uses for this medication. It also explains how naloxone works to reverse the effects of opioids.)
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