Case Report: Cardiac Arrest in a Man Who Has Overdosed

Guillaume Davido, MD


March 09, 2022

All of the answers are correct. In the case of opioid withdrawal, we're mostly treating the symptoms. Opioid or anxiolytic analgesics (benzodiazepines) are contraindicated in these patients because of the risk for polysubstance dependence.

Opioid substitution therapy could be helpful, but it's not essential. The patient must be showing signs of withdrawal, or a sufficient amount of time must have passed since the last opioid dose (at least 10 hours for methadone and 4 hours for buprenorphine). ‎Such therapy can reduce the possibility of harm related to opioids bought on the black market, used syringes, medicalized addiction, and split dispensing. In addition, buprenorphine can reduce the likelihood of an overdose and buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) does not require IV administration. Ideally, the patient should be given opioid substitution therapy in an addiction treatment, support, and prevention center.

This article originally appeared in the French edition of Medscape.

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