Effects of sublingually given naloxone in opioid-dependent human volunteers

Kenzie L. Preston, George E. Bigelow, Ira A. Liebson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


To determine whether sublingual naloxone could precipitate withdrawal in opioid-dependent subjects, naloxone was administered in increasing doses (0-8 mg in four or six sessions conducted over 2 days) to six heroin abusers and three methadone (30 mg/day, p.o.) maintenance patients. Two or three sessions were conducted per day with 2- to 2.5-h intervals between sameday sessions. Naloxone precipitated withdrawal in two of six heroin abusers and in all three methadone subjects. Naloxone is sufficiently absorbed sublingually to precipitate abstinence in dependent subjects, but naloxone doses up to 1-2 mg can be administered sublingually to opioid abusers/addicts without precipitating withdrawal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-34
Number of pages8
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1990


  • human subjects
  • methadone
  • naloxone
  • opioid antagonist
  • opioid withdrawal/physical dependence
  • sublingual administration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of sublingually given naloxone in opioid-dependent human volunteers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this