Naloxone is a medication designed to reverse an opioid overdose, and it’s classified as an opioid antagonist. Opioid antagonists bind to opioid receptors, and then in doing so, they’re able to reverse and block the effects of other opioids. Theoretically, this prevents the misuse of pentazocine, but that might not always be the case. Even combination drugs with both pentazocine and naloxone do come with warnings about the potential for misuse and addiction.
Pentazocine also has what’s described as a ceiling effect. This means that when someone takes beyond a certain amount, they’re not likely going to have increased pain relief, euphoria or other effects including respiratory depression. This factor reduces the risk of overdosing on pentazocine as well. However, pentazocine is still an opioid, and it does affect the central nervous system. In doing so it, it is possible that someone could overdose on the drug and suffer fatal respiratory depression. Someone who’s most likely to overdose on pentazocine would be a person with no previous experience or tolerance to opioids. Other risk factors for a pentazocine overdose include taking it with other narcotic medications or alcohol. Mixing pentazocine with any central nervous system depressant such as sleeping pills, antipsychotic medications or anti-anxiety medications may also cause an overdose or dangerous side effects.
- Breathing problems such as slow or shallow breathing
- Decreased alertness or drowsiness
- Skin color that seems to have a bluish tint
- Rapid heartbeat
- Changes in blood pressure
- Pinpoint pupils
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Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.
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