Background: Naloxone, a specific opiate antagonist, is available for the treatment of newborn infants with respiratory depression that may be due to transplacentally acquired opiates.
Aims: To determine if this treatment has any clinically important benefits, and whether there are any harmful effects.
Methods: Randomised controlled trials that compared naloxone with placebo or no drug for newborn infants with transplacental exposure to narcotics were systematically reviewed. The Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (CCTR; 2002, Issue 3), Medline (1966 to June 2002), and Embase (1988 to June 2002) were searched. Data were extracted, analysed, and synthesised using the standard methods of the Cochrane Neonatal Collaborative Review Group.
Results: Nine trials were found that fulfilled the specified inclusion criteria. Although there was evidence that naloxone increased alveolar ventilation, no data were found on the specified primary outcomes of this review: the need for assisted ventilation or admission to a neonatal unit.
Conclusions: There is a need for a randomised controlled trial to determine if naloxone confers any clinically important benefits on newborn infants with respiratory depression that may be due to transplacentally acquired narcotic.
- narcotic exposure
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