The amount of Sublimaze required to overdose is different for each patient. In general, smaller patients with a lower body fat percentage have a higher likelihood of experiencing complications from large doses.
Treatment for opioid overdose involves securing the patient’s airway, ensuring adequate respiration, and conducting life-saving procedures as needed. Patients who present with significant respiratory and circulatory depression may require an opioid antagonist to reverse the effects of the drug.
Respiratory depression is the primary side effect of opioid overdose. Even at well-tolerated therapeutic doses, Sublimaze can induce significant respiratory depression. Doses must be titrated with care and patients monitored closely to ensure adequate respiration throughout the procedure.
Sublimaze inhibits the brain stem’s ability to regulate autonomic breathing. In the event of an overdose, the brain stem becomes unable to interpret electrical signals and to monitor for elevated carbon dioxide levels. The effect is that the patient’s body becomes unaware of the need to breathe.
If the patient is conscious during a Sublimaze overdose, they will experience a progressively decreasing level of consciousness. Individuals may deteriorate from fully alert and oriented to entirely unaware of their surroundings in a short time. Other signs of Sublimaze overdose include cold, clammy skin, blue lips and fingers, nausea, and vomiting.
When Sublimaze is administered as a premedication to surgery, typical doses range from 50 mcg to 100 mcg. These are administered intramuscularly 30 to 60 minutes before surgery. Elderly patients or those who have already received depressant drugs may require a smaller dose. As an adjunct to regional anesthesia, doses of 50 mcg to 100 mcg may be administered intravenously over one to two minutes as additional pain relief is required. Usage in children can be as low as 2 to 3 mcg/kg.
Other supportive measures such as oxygen therapy and vasopressors may be required. Circulatory shock and pulmonary edema are additional risk factors associated with Sublimaze overdose. Advanced life-support procedures including CPR and shock treatment will be required in the event of cardiac arrest or heart arrhythmias.
Naloxone reverses the effects of opioids like Sublimaze by disrupting the bonds formed between the drug and opioid receptor sites in the body. The duration of opioid reversal can vary between patients. Individuals should be carefully monitored following administration of naloxone for returning symptoms of respiratory depression. If a single dose of naloxone proves insufficient to correct respiratory depression, additional doses may be administered. Opioid antagonists can precipitate the onset of severe post-acute withdrawal symptoms in opioid-dependent patients.
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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