Naloxone “Flush”: A Novel Approach to Complete Heroin Abstinence

  • Alvin J. Cronson


Naloxone hydrochloride is a specific narcotic antagonist whose main use is the reversal of coma due to opiates. In 1973 the Drug Research Unit of New York Medical College used it to test the patients’ freedom from opiates, prior to the administration of naltrexone, which is more potent and has a longer duration. Both patients and staff called this procedure a “flush.” If naloxone was administered too soon, generally less than a week after termination of methadone maintenace, abstinence symptoms such as muscle cramps, nausea and hypersecretions would occur. These could be symptomatically treated with diazapam, prochlorpromazine and atropine.


Muscle Cramp York Medical College Abstinence Syndrome Opiate Dependence 34th Annual Scientific 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Blackley, P.A., Casey, D., Marcel, L.J., and Denny, D.D. 1974. Titration of the opiate syndrome and naloxone: a mode for the study of the opiate abstinence syndrome. Presented at the First National Drug Abuse Conference, March 1974.Google Scholar
  2. Eddy, M.B. and May, E.L. 1973. The search for a better analgesic. Science. 181: 407–414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Fink, M., Fredman, A.H., Zaks, A.M., and Resnick, R.B. 1971. Narcotic antagonists. Another approach to addiction therapy. American Journal of Nursing. 71: 1359–63.Google Scholar
  4. Jaffe, J.H. and Martin, W.R. 1975. Narcotic Analgesics and Antagonists. In L.S. Goodman and A. Gilman (eds.), The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics ( 5th ed. ). New York: MacMillan Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  5. Kurland, A.A., Krantz, J.C., and Kerman, R. 1967. Naloxone (N Allylnoroxymorphone) a pilot study of brief high dose administration. Report of the 34th Annual Scientific Meeting of Committee of Problems of Drug Dependence. Ann Arbor. May, 1967.Google Scholar
  6. Kurland, A.A. and McCabe, L. 1976. Rapid detoxification of the narcotic addict with naloxone hydrochloride. A preliminary report. Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 16: 68–74.Google Scholar
  7. Zaks, A., Jones, T., Fink, M., and Freeman, A. 1971. Naloxone treatment of opiate dependence. Journal of the American Medical Association. 215: 2108–2110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alvin J. Cronson
    • 1
  1. 1.Texas Tech University School of MedicineUSA

Personalised recommendations