Effects of naloxone on the breathing pattern of a newborn exposed to maternal opiates

Acta Pediatrica, 04/30/2012

Van Vonderen JJ et al. – The immediate tachypnoea is most likely a direct effect of the naloxone causing an immediate ‘rebound response’ after the release of the opiate–induced inhibition of the respiratory drive.


  • A respiratory recording is presented of an infant during resuscitation in the delivery room after receiving naloxone for respiratory depression, resulting from maternal remifentanyl use.


  • The infant was born apneic and bradycardic. Normal resuscitation manoeuvres had no effect on the respiratory drive.
  • Directly after administration of naloxone, a tachypneic breathing pattern with sporadic expiratory breaking manoeuvres was observed.

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