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Pentazocine overdose

Alternative names

Poisoning from an overdose of pentazocine.

Poisonous Ingredient


Where Found

  • Talwin Nx
  • Algopent
  • Fortral
  • Pentafen
  • Fortulgesic
  • Liticon

This list is not all inclusive.


  • Respiratory
    • Breathing difficulty (shallow, slow, or labored; breathing may stop, which can be fatal in 2-4 minutes)
  • Eyes, ears, nose, and throat
    • Pinpoint pupils
  • Skin
    • Cyanosis
  • Gastrointestinal
    • Vomiting
    • Abdominal cramps
    • Constipation
    • Dry mouth
  • Heart and blood vessels
    • Weak or fast pulse
    • Low blood pressure or high blood pressure
    • Palpitations
  • Nervous system
    • Drowsiness
    • Convulsions
    • Dizziness
    • Headache

Home Treatment


Before Calling Emergency

Determine the following information:
  • The patient's age, weight, and condition
  • Name of product (as well as the ingredients and strength if known)
  • The time it was swallowed
  • The amount swallowed
  • If the medication was prescribed for the patient

Poison Control, or a local emergency number

They will instruct you if it is necessary to take the patient to the hospital. See Poison Control Centers for telephone numbers and addresses. Take the container with you to the emergency room.

What to expect at the emergency room

Some or all of the following procedures may be performed:
  • Use gastric lavage .
  • Administer activated charcoal.
  • Administer a laxative.
  • Give a counteracting medication (narcotic antagonist). Multiple doses may be needed.
  • Administer intravenous fluids as needed.
  • Monitor breathing.
  • Treat the symptoms.

Expectations (prognosis)

If an antidote can be given, recovery from an acute overdose often occurs within 1 to 2 days.

Update Date: 8/6/2003

Ari Schwell, M.D., Director, Emergency Department of the Episcopal Campus of Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT