Welcome to Episode 109

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Tip of The Week- Buprenorphine Overdose with Lisa Booze of the Maryland Poison Center

Buprenorphine, more popularly known as Subutex, is an opioid partial agonist used to treat opioid dependence such as addiction to narcotic analgesics, heroine, or any drug with an opioid formulation. Suboxone, is buprenophrine added with naloxone to decrease the likelihood of diversion and abuse of the combination product.

Ideal candidates for Buprenorphine therapy are chosen following a criteria and three phases of maintenance therapy are followed. The dose of Buprenorphine given in each phase of the therapy is closely monitored by the physician and adjusted through the progression of each phase until medically supervise withdrawal (formerly called detoxification) is achieved.

In case of overdose, presenting symptoms include pinpoint pupils, extreme drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, and slowed breathing. Nurses should pay attention to the respiratory and cardiac status of the patient and interventions should be aimed at the provision of a patent airway. Oxygen, intravenous fluids, vasopressors, and other supportive measures should be employed as indicated.

Buprenorphine (Sublingual) by NIH MedlinePlus

US Dept. of Health and Human Services on Buprenorphine Therapy

DailyMed on Buprenophrine Hydrochloride Injection


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