Naltrexone: Drug Information
People having alcohol or narcotic dependence often cannot quit without medical treatment. The most frequently used medications for the treatment of opioid addiction are known as opioid receptor antagonist. Naltrexone is an effective opioid antagonist approved for the treatment of narcotic and alcohol dependence.
Naltrexone contains the active component Naltrexone, which belongs to opioid receptor antagonists. The medication binds to opioid receptors, thereby blocking them and preventing opiate effects. It means that if you take narcotics while using Naltrexone, you will not receive any effect from it. Therefore, Naltrexone decreases the desire to use opiates and helps prevent relapse in patients who have had narcotic dependence.
Naltrexone is highly recommended for patients who are recovering from their dependence. This means that you can use Naltrexone only if you are not currently taking opiates. If you use Naltrexone, it will help you not take opiates again. Naltrexone is also used for the treatment of alcohol abuse. People who use Naltrexone can stop drinking alcohol or drink less.
Remember that this medication should be used in combination with other forms of treatment, such as counseling, lifestyle changes, and social support.
Sometimes Naltrexone may be given off-label for the treatment of eating disorders, self-injurious behavior, gambling problems, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Naltrexone: Dosing and administration
Naltrexone may be taken with food if it causes stomach upset.
Your dosage of Naltrexone well depend on the reason you are taking it (to treat narcotic or alcohol dependence), on your respond to this medication, and some other factors.
Treatment is usually started with the lower Naltrexone dose. Thus, the recommended starting Naltrexone dosage for the treatment of alcohol dependence is 25 mg. If there are no withdrawal symptoms or side effects, this dose is usually increased to 50mg taken as two divided doses. The recommended starting dose of Naltrexone to treat opioid dependence is 25 mg, which is also usually increased to 50mg.
Some patients should take Naltrexone under doctor’s supervision to ensure they do not skip doses. In this case, a higher dose of Naltrexone (100-150mg) may be taken every 2 or 3 days.
Do not take Naltrexone in larger doses that it is prescribed by your doctor. This may cause liver damage. It is important to keep an even level of Naltrexone in your blood, so you should take Naltrexone at the same time.
Treatment course usually lasts for up to twelve weeks. Naltrexone will work as long as you are taking it. Do not stop taking Naltrexone even if you feel well unless your doctor has instructed you to discontinue treatment.
You will find more information about how Naltrexone should be taken in the Patient’s Information Leaflet. Read the leaflet carefully before starting treatment.
Naltrexone: Warnings and Precautions
You should not use low dose Naltrexone if you are still taking opioids, including narcotic pain medications. This can cause dangerous withdrawal symptoms.
Take Naltrexone at least 7 days after you have taken opioids, otherwise you may develop withdrawal symptoms.
Naltrexone will not reduce withdrawal symptoms, instead it may worsen it. You should not take Naltrexone if you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
Talk with your doctor before you use Naltrexone if you have liver disease (cirrhosis), kidney failure, suicidal thoughts or depression, or withdrawal symptoms.
Make sure your healthcare provider knows about all of the medications or supplements you are taking, because some of them may interact with Naltrexone. Among these medications are opioids, cannabinoids, cough medications, and diarrhea medications. Ask your doctor if other medications you take may interact with Naltrexone.
Seek medical attention if you have any withdrawal symptoms, including vomiting and/or diarrhea, abdominal cramps, joint or muscle pain, and mood changes.
Do not use Naltrexone without consulting your doctor if you have any allergies, especially to Naltrexone or other inactive components of Naltrexone.
Naltrexone: How Supplied
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Naltrexone: Side effects
Possible side effects of Naltrexone may include headache, nausea, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, nervousness, and dizziness. However, most people using Naltrexone will not develop serious side effects.
Naltrexone: Where to buy
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