Use of naloxone and atropine in emergency situations

A DOCS Education member asks:
I have both naloxone and atropine in my emergency kit, but I am not sure I could remember the dosage and route to administer them in an emergency. Atropine looks like it comes in an individual dose but I'm not sure. Can you please give me a quick refresher course on these meds? Thanks!

Dr. Jerome Wellbrock, DOCS Education faculty responds:
Naloxone or Narcan® is use to reverse opioid (narcotic) drugs. The usual dose is 0.2 to 0.4mg. Atropine is used to treat symptomatic bradycardia with hypotension. The usual dose is 0.5mg. Both of these drugs are best administered via IV or IO. I would suggest reviewing all the drugs in your Emergency Kit on a regular basis at least once a month. You want to make sure none of your drugs are expired, and you might as well review each drug for reason of use and usual dosage and frequency of dosage if indicated. It is helpful to keep a sheet or list of each drug, indication for use, how supplied, usual dose given and frequency of dosing if needed in your kit, as memories have a way of leaving during an emergency.

Consider taking our ACLS recertification course, which covers rescue medication among other topics. You can check the calendar on the website for dates and location, the next one being in Seattle in November 2017 and then San Francisco in February 2018.

The information contained in this, or any case study post in Incisor should never be considered a proper replacement for necessary training and/or education regarding adult oral conscious sedation. Regulations regarding sedation vary by state. This is an educational and informational piece. DOCS Education accepts no liability whatsoever for any damages resulting from any direct or indirect recipient's use of or failure to use any of the information contained herein. DOCS Education would be happy to answer any questions or concerns mailed to us at 106 Lenora Street, Seattle, WA 98121. Please print a copy of this posting and include it with your question or request.