Pharmacokinetics and -dynamics of intramuscular and intranasal naloxone: an explorative study in healthy volunteers
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionEuropean Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 2018, 1-11. 10.1007/s00228-018-2443-3
Purpose This study aimed to develop a model for pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic studies of naloxone antagonism under steady-state opioid agonism and to compare a high-concentration/low-volume intranasal naloxone formulation 8 mg/ml to intramuscular 0.8 mg. Methods Two-way crossover in 12 healthy volunteers receiving naloxone while receiving remifentanil by a target-controlled infusion for 102 min. The group were subdivided into three different doses of remifentanil. Blood samples for serum naloxone concentrations, pupillometry and heat pain threshold were measured. Results The relative bioavailability of intranasal to intramuscular naloxone was 0.75. Pupillometry showed difference in antagonism; the effect was significant in the data set as a whole (p < 0.001) and in all three subgroups (p < 0.02–p < 0.001). Heat pain threshold showed no statistical difference. Conclusions A target-controlled infusion of remifentanil provides good conditions for studying the pharmacodynamics of naloxone, and pupillometry was a better modality than heat pain threshold. Intranasal naloxone 0.8 mg is inferior for a similar dose intramuscular. Our design may help to bridge the gap between studies in healthy volunteers and the patient population in need of naloxone for opioid overdose.