Which medications in the drug class Opioid antagonist agents are used in the treatment of Pruritus and Systemic Disease?

Updated: Mar 03, 2020
  • Author: David F Butler, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Answer

Opioid antagonist agents

These agents are used to treat cholestatic pruritus.

Naloxone (Narcan)

Naloxone is an opioid antagonist and is given intravenously; therefore, it should only be used in emergency treatment of exacerbations of cholestatic pruritus in a hospital setting. A low-dose infusion may be used for 24 hours before oral naltrexone or nalmefene to avoid opioid withdrawal syndrome (sometimes seen in patients given oral opioid antagonists).

Naltrexone (ReVia, Vivitrol)

Naltrexone may also be considered if patients with cholestatic pruritus do not respond to cholestyramine and rifampin. Naltrexone can be administered orally and has a longer half-life than naloxone.


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