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Naloxone and pentazocine

Generic Name: naloxone and pentazocine (oral) (nal OX one and pen TAZ oh seen)
Brand Name: Talwin NX

Medically reviewed on December 12, 2017

What is naloxone and pentazocine?

Naloxone blocks certain effects of opioid medication, including feelings of well-being that can lead to opioid abuse.

Pentazocine is an opioid pain medication, sometimes called a narcotic.

Naloxone and pentazocine is a combination medicine used to treat moderate to severe pain. Naloxone is included in this medication to prevent the misuse of the narcotic ingredient.

Naloxone and pentazocine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Pentazocine can slow or stop your breathing, and may be habit-forming. MISUSE OF naloxone and pentazocine CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription.

Taking this medicine during pregnancy may cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the newborn.

Fatal side effects can occur if you use this medicine with alcohol, or with other drugs that cause drowsiness or slow your breathing.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to naloxone or pentazocine.

To make sure naloxone and pentazocine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • any type of breathing problem or lung disease;

  • a head injury, brain tumor, or seizures;

  • drug or alcohol addiction, or mental illness;

  • urination problems;

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • a blockage in your stomach or intestines;

  • heart disease or a heart attack;

  • problems with your gallbladder, pancreas, or thyroid;

  • Addison's disease or other adrenal gland disorder;

  • porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system); or

  • if you have recently received other narcotic pain medicine or methadone.

Some medicines can interact with pentazocine and cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome. Be sure your doctor knows if you also take stimulant medicine, herbal products, or medicine for depression, mental illness, Parkinson's disease, migraine headaches, serious infections, or prevention of nausea and vomiting. Ask your doctor before making any changes in how or when you take your medications.

If you use pentazocine while you are pregnant, your baby could become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine may need medical treatment for several weeks. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Naloxone and pentazocine can pass into breast milk and may affect the nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.

Naloxone and pentazocine should not be given to a child younger than 12 years old.

How should I take naloxone and pentazocine?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Pentazocine can slow or stop your breathing. Never use naloxone and pentazocine in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in relieving your pain.

Pentazocine may be habit-forming, even at regular doses. Never share naloxone and pentazocine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. MISUSE OF NARCOTIC MEDICINE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription. Selling or giving away naloxone and pentazocine is against the law.

Naloxone and pentazocine is usually taken as 1 or 2 tablets every 3 to 4 hours. Follow your doctor's instructions. Do not take more than 12 tablets in a 24-hour period.

If you are using any other narcotic pain medicine, the pain-relieving effects of the narcotic may be reversed while you are also taking naloxone and pentazocine.

Never crush or break a naloxone and pentazocine pill to inhale the powder or mix it into a liquid to inject the drug into your vein. This can cause in death.

You should not stop using this medicine suddenly. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat, in a place where others cannot get to it.

Keep track of your medicine. Naloxone and pentazocine is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.

Do not keep leftover opioid medication. Just one dose can cause death in someone using this medicine accidentally or improperly. Ask your pharmacist where to locate a drug take-back disposal program. If there is no take-back program, flush the unused medicine down the toilet.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since naloxone and pentazocine is used for pain, you are not likely to miss a dose. Skip any missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

Do not take more than 12 tablets in a 24-hour period.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. A pentazocine overdose can be fatal, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription. Overdose symptoms may include anxiety, nightmares, hallucinations, slow breathing, fast heart rate, severe dizziness, vomiting, numbness or tingling, fainting, or seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid while taking naloxone and pentazocine?

Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death could occur.

Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how naloxone and pentazocine will affect you. Dizziness or severe drowsiness can cause falls or other accidents.

Avoid smoking, which can make this medication less effective in relieving your pain.

Naloxone and pentazocine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling).

Like other narcotic medicines, pentazocine can slow your breathing. Death may occur if breathing becomes too weak. A person caring for you should seek emergency medical attention if you have slow breathing with long pauses, blue colored lips, or if you are hard to wake up.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • weak or shallow breathing, slow heartbeats;

  • severe constipation;

  • confusion, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior;

  • severe weakness or drowsiness;

  • seizure (convulsions);

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • missed menstrual periods;

  • impotence, sexual problems, loss of interest in sex; or

  • low cortisol levels--nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dizziness, worsening tiredness or weakness.

Seek medical attention right away if you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, such as: agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Serious side effects may be more likely in older adults and those who are malnourished or debilitated.

Long-term use of opioid medication may affect fertility (ability to have children) in men or women. It is not known whether opioid effects on fertility are permanent.

Common side effects may include:

  • dizziness, drowsiness;

  • mild constipation;

  • nausea, vomiting; or

  • sweating.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect naloxone and pentazocine?

Narcotic (opioid) medication can interact with many other drugs and cause dangerous side effects or death. Be sure your doctor knows if you also use:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with naloxone and pentazocine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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