Efficacy and safety of naloxone in septic shock

P. Rock, H. Silverman, D. Plump, Z. Kecala, P. Smith, J. R. Michael, W. Summer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


We evaluate the effectiveness and safety of iv naloxone in 12 septic patients who remained hypotensive despite volume replacement, appropriate antibiotics, and vasopressor therapy. Only four patients responded positively to naloxone, by increases in mean arterial pressure of between 10 to 15 mm Hg that lasted for 15 to 60 min. These patients could not be distinguished from the others on the basis of underlying illness, laboratory or physical findings, length of preceding hypotension, or glucocorticoid therapy. Four patients had adverse reactions: one developed pulmonary edema, one patients had a grand-mal seizure, and two patients became severely hypotensive. We conclude that in patients with well-established septic shock, naloxone does not reliably improve mean arterial pressure or other physiologic variables, and may cause severe adverse reactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-33
Number of pages6
JournalCritical care medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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