The frequency of agitation due to inappropriate use of naltrexone in addicts


Department of Clinical Toxicology, Isfahan Clinical Toxicology Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: There is a high tendency among specialists to treat the addicts with naltrexone; withdrawal symptoms are frequent after taking naltrexone along with opioids. This study investigated the frequency of agitation due to inappropriate use of naltrexone in addicts.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study, conducted in Noor and Aliasghar hospitals in Isfahan city. The study population included the addicts who were agitated as a result of naltrexone abuse. Scores of patients with agitation were measured with Richmond Agitation Sedation Scale (RASS). Patient outcomes including recovery without complications, recovery with complications (rhabdomyolysis), and mortality were recorded.
Results: All the patients with agitation caused by naltrexone abuse during 1 year were 40 people, of whom nine were excluded due to their comorbid diseases (diabetes or cardiovascular disease). Among the remaining 31 patients, 30 were male. The patients' mean age was 29.93 (5.24) years. The most common symptoms observed besides agitation was midriasis (41.9%), and vomiting (41.9%), A 38.8% of the patients scored 3 or 4, and, 61.2% scored 1 or 2 for agitation. The mean time for patients' restlessness scores to reach zero was 9.30 (3.71) h (min: 3 h, max: 18 h). All the patients in both groups were discharged with recovery without complication.
Conclusion: Considering the high prevalence of agitation in the poisoning emergency department due to inappropriate use of naltrexone, more accurate planning for administration of naltrexone in addicts seems necessary.


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