Naltrexone is used to help narcotic or drug dependents who have stopped consuming narcotics or soporific substances to stay drug-free. It also helps an individual to remain alcohol-free, especially for alcoholics.
This medication is not a cure to addiction, but it is an integral part of a program. It incorporates counseling and other treatment recommended by the team of experts and doctors. Naltrexone is a drug, not a narcotic. It functions by chunking the outcomes of narcotics, especially the craving of using the alcoholic substance. Its purpose is of not producing any narcotic-like effects or cause mental or physical dependence. It could cause withdrawal symptoms in people who are physically narcotics dependent.
Its Treatment is started only when an individual is no longer dependent on narcotics. This medication is approved and recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on April 13, 2006, to treat any opioid or alcohol use disorders. It is available in the market in pill or as an injectable form. The pill form of Naltrexone is sold under the brand name Revia, and the injectable form is available under the brand name Vivitrol. The pill form can be taken at 50mg once per day, and the injectable form of the drug is administered at 380 mg once a month.
How Naltrexone Works?
Naltrexone chunks the euphoric and soporific outcomes of drugs such as morphine, heroin, and codeine. It activates the opioid receptors in the body that repress cravings for alcoholic or drug substances. By binding and blocking the opioid receptors, it is also reported to reduce opioid cravings. If an individual degenerate and crave to use problem drugs, Naltrexone blocks the feeling of getting high. It is advisable not to consume any other opioids, illicit drugs, drink alcohol, or take a sedative drug and any tranquilizers.
Naltrexone Used for Opioid Use Disorders
Injectable Naltrexone is approved or prescribed for the treatment of an individual with opioid use disorders. The ant healthcare provider who is licensed to prescribe this medication can recommend this; no specialized training is required. It is advisable that detoxification from opioids must be completed at least 7-10 days before injectable Naltrexone is initiated or resumed. According to the research, Naltrexone decreases the sensitivity to drug and alcohol cravings. It also reduces tolerance to opioids. Extended-release Naltrexone should be part of a thorough management program in which psychosocial support is also included.
Naltrexone Used for Alcohol Dependence
Naltrexone medication prevents the soporific or seductive effects and feeling of intoxication for the alcohol-dependent person. It helps the individual to reduce his drinking behavior to gain motivation in treatment and avoid any relapse.
Possible Side Effects of Naltrexone
An individual should not stop taking the medication even if some side effects have occurred. The person should consult the health care provider and treatment practitioner to adjust the dose according to the requirement.
Some of the possible side effects incorporate:
• Loss of appetite and upset stomach
• Nausea and vomiting
• Abdominal cramping and pain
• Tiredness, Joint and Muscle pain
• Increased anxiety/Sleep problems
• A headache, migraine
Very less frequent side effects are:
• Increased energy
• Chills and feeling cold
• Decreased appetite
• Delayed ejaculation
• Thirst and dehydration
• Skin Rashes
• Diarrhea or constipation
• Dizzy spells
• Irritability, annoyance
• Depression and downturn
It is advisable to seek a healthcare expert or treatment practitioner right away for:
Liver injury: Liver injury could be caused due to the consumption of Naltrexone. If symptoms or signs of liver disease occurred, then seek evaluation.
The reaction at an injection site: Injectable Naltrexone could be the reason reaction site on the body. Seeking evaluation for skin reactions is advisable in this case.
Allergic pneumonia: Seek an evaluation if this medication causes signs and symptoms of pneumonia.
Precautions Needed With This Drug
If an individual has an allergy, he should let his physician know before taking this drug. The medical professionals should also be informed about the medical histories, including the use of any opiates, liver, or kidney disease. Some blood tests could be required in case any liver problem is caused before treatment and how this medication could impact the patients.