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Reversal of Alcoholic Coma by Naloxone

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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Leonard J. Lyon, M.D.; Bergen Pines County Hospital, East Ridgewood Avenue; Paramus, NJ 07652.

Bergen Pines County Hospital; Paramus, New Jersey.

Ann Intern Med. 1982;96(4):464-465. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-96-4-464
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Recent experimental (1-2) and clinical (3-7) studies suggest that naloxone hydrochloride, generally considered to be a specific opiate antagonist, can reverse the effects of alcoholic intoxication. We report two cases of coma caused by ethanol; in each case, naloxone therapy aroused the patients promptly. Our observations suggest naloxone is not only useful in patients with opiate toxicity, but also may have broader therapeutic use.

Patient 1: A 20-year-old man was brought unconscious to Bergen Pines County Hospital on 11 August 1980 at 0332 h. On admission, his blood pressure was 128/80 mm Hg and pulse, 96/min; temperature, 35.8 °0C; and


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