Role of Benzodiazepines in the management of agitation due to inappropriate use of Naltrexone

Ali Mohammad Sabzghabaee, Nastaran Eizadi-Mood, Farzad Gheshlaghi, Azam Javani, Shahin Shirani, Safieh Aghaabdollahian


  • Background: Agitation is an early symptom of the acute opioid withdrawal syndrome in addicts that may start by inappropriate use of naltrexone. The current drug interventions are not efficient or need critical care as well. This study compares the clinical role of midazolam and diazepam for the management of agitation due to inappropriate use of naltrexone.
  • Materials and Methods: In this double-blind randomized controlled clinical trial, 44 agitated addicts, who did not use any type of benzodiazepine, not on systematic central nervous system depressant drugs, without any known hypersensitivity to diazepam, midazolam, or any other component of their formulation and had no evidence for the need of critical care, were enrolled. An i.v. stat dose of 0.1 mg/kg diazepam and 0.1 mg/kg stat dose of midazolam and a 0.1 mg/kg/h infusion of these drugs were administered for different groups of patients, respectively. Agitation scores were recorded at 30, 60, 120 min after the start of drug administration using Richmond Agitation Sedation Scale score.
  • Results: A significant difference between the mean onset of agitation control in midazolam group (at 67 min) and diazepam group (at 81 min) was recorded. The difference of mean agitation score in the midazolam and diazepam group was only significant at 120 min. There was a negative correlation between agitation score and time elapsed from naltrexone administration to admission.
  • Conclusion: Midazolam and diazepam may not be considered suitable and perfect pharmacologic agents for the initial controlling of agitation induced by naltrexone.
  • Key words: Benzodiazepines, naltrexone, psychomotor agitation, substance withdrawal syndrome

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.