Narcotic antagonists (see chart) are antidotes for overdoses of narcotic analgesics. They have a higher affinity to the opiate receptor site than the narcotic analgesic and block the narcotic analgesic from binding to the opiate receptor site. They also reverse the respiratory and CNS depression caused by the narcotics.
Naloxone (Narcan) is a narcotic antagonist and can be used to determine if an unconscious patient has used an opioid narcotic drug. If the patient wakes up after Narcan is administered intravenously, the patient is likely to have ingested or injected an opioid narcotic.
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