Use of naloxone to reverse narcotic respiratory depression in the newborn infant

Tilo Gerhardt, Eduardo Bancalari, Harry Cohen, Luis Fernandez Rocha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


Twenty neonates whose mothers had received meperidine (1.0 to 1.5 mg/kg) intravenously within three hours of delivery were studied to determine the effectiveness of naloxone in reversing neonatal respiratory depression. The following measurements were carried out within 20 to 30 minutes after delivery: minute ventilation, end tidal CO2, and ventilatory response to CO2. These determinations were repeated after administration of either placebo or naloxone, 0.01 mg/kg intramuscularly. Minute ventilation and PACO were within a normal range before medication in both groups, but the slope of the CO2 response curve was decreased, indicating mild-to-moderate respiratory depression. After administration of placebo the test results did not change significantly. After administration of naloxone, V̇E increased significantly (P<0.05) and the slope of the CO2 response curve doubled (P<0.001). Naloxone effectively reverses narcotic depression of the respiratory center in the newborn infant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1009-1012
Number of pages4
JournalThe Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1977


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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