What is Naltrexone?

Naltrexone is a medication that is often prescribed to individuals to support them in safely overcoming their drug and alcohol addiction. This medication has been tested and approved by The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in treating symptoms of opioid addiction or alcohol addiction and withdrawal. Naltrexone can be taken in an oral format within a pill form commonly sold under the brand name of ReVia and Depade with a dosage of 50mg daily. Naltrexone can also be provided in an injectable form under the brand name Vivitrol. This form of Vivitrol is to be injected into your intramuscular system once per month. Patients who are preparing to begin taking naltrexone are encouraged to quit using drugs or alcohol 7 days prior to starting this medication. 

Naltrexone Effects

Once you begin taking naltrexone, this medication will work by blocking or inhibiting the effects of euphoria or sedation that occur when you use alcohol or opioids.  Naltrexone works to bind and block the brain’s opioid receptors allowing for a significant reduction in severe opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms. While taking Naltrexone, if you engage in alcohol consumption or take opioids, you will be unable to feel the effects of these substances. This medication acts as a strong method for relapse prevention for those that are living in early addiction recovery. 

Signs of Naltrexone Abuse and Addiction

As naltrexone is used as a method for addiction treatment, individuals engaging in the use of naltrexone are typically being monitored by medical professionals who provide guidance and medical interventions or advice when needed. For this reason, there is little to no risk involved for patients taking this medication in developing an addiction to naltrexone. Due to naltrexone working to block and bind the opioid receptors in the brain, individuals will not feel a sensation of getting high and will not produce any euphoric feelings when taking this prescription medication. 

Naltrexone Withdrawal Symptoms

Although naltrexone is not a habit-forming medication, there are some cases where the use of naltrexone can create side effects or symptoms that may influence your overall physical and mental health functioning. Side effects of naltrexone that have occurred within patients are: 

  • Stomach aches 
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • Inability to sleep or experiencing insomnia 
  • Pains or aches within your body 
  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety 

Long Term Side Effects of Naltrexone Abuse

As most individuals are being monitored by healthcare professionals when they are taking naltrexone, there is minimal risk of developing serious or severe side effects. However, like any medication, there is the potential for rare cases where individuals may experience the following long-term side effects: 

  • Liver damage 
  • Increase in white blood cell count 
  • Muscle stiffness 
  • Swollen or tender lymph nodes 
  • Hypersensitivity to drug abuse 
  • Extreme or abnormal tiredness or fatigue 
  • Suicidal thoughts or ideations 

Naltrexone Addiction Treatment

No matter what your substance of choice is, at TruPath, we are committed to providing you with an individualized treatment program that will help you overcome your substance use disorder and achieve your goals for addiction recovery. We understand the challenge that comes with overcoming an opioid addiction or alcohol addiction and are equipped with the leading evidence-based therapy methods to support you in safely and successfully addressing and healing from your root causes of substance abuse. With the support of medication-assisted treatment programs that utilize medications such as naltrexone, your drug or alcohol detox, and rehab program will be able to be smooth allowing you to remain focused on your recovery process. Contact our recovery center today to hear more about our drug and alcohol rehab programs and begin your road to recovery now.