What is the role of naloxone challenge testing in the workup of opioid abuse?

Updated: Jun 21, 2018
  • Author: David W Dixon, DO; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Answer

Naloxone challenge test: This test is performed to assess physical dependence. As an intramuscular injection or IV, 0.2-0.8 mg of naloxone is administered.

  • A positive test is indicative of physical dependence and consists of typical withdrawal symptoms and signs. These symptoms and signs usually last for 30-60 minutes.

  • This test is found to be very helpful before starting opiate antagonists for maintenance therapy. Starting opioid antagonists, such as naltrexone, soon after detoxification may cause withdrawal symptoms and discourage patients from further treatment.


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