Opiate Poisoning

Opiate Poisoning is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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  • Bind to μ, κ, and δ opiate receptors in the CNS and peripheral nervous system (PNS)
  • Physical and psychological dependence occurs.
  • Peak plasma levels:
    • PO: 1–2 hr
    • Intramuscular: 0.5–1 hr
    • Intravenous or intranasal: Seconds to minutes


  • Overuse or abuse of oral prescription analgesics for moderate to severe pain
  • Street preparations of opiate analogs may contain adulterants:
    • Cocaine
    • Clenbuterol
    • Phencyclidine
    • Strychnine
    • Dextromethorphan
    • Quinine
    • Scopolamine

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