Naltrexone is used to treat alcohol use disorder and opioid use disorder. Even though it's not a cure for addiction, the FDA-approved medication has shown to be highly effective when used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Prior to starting naltrexone therapy, the patient must not be physically dependent on alcohol or drugs. Otherwise, when these substances are still in the system, they might interact with the medication resulting in severe and uncomfortable naltrexone implant side effects. This means that a person first has to complete detox before using naltrexone.
At Beat Addiction Recovery, we're a medication-assisted program that includes naltrexone prescribed by a treating physician. This approach is especially useful when those with a substance use disorder are trying to put an end to their addiction.
Below we answer commonly asked naltrexone questions.
How Do I Know If Naltrexone Is Suitable For Me?
The only way to be certain that naltrexone is suitable for patients is to ensure they undergo a thorough evaluation. From there, your addiction specialist will determine if the person can go ahead with the treatment.
How Effective Is Naltrexone Against Alcoholism?
Typically, naltrexone is administered immediately after completing detox. The medication works by stopping the brain’s receptors from producing that euphoric feeling experienced when someone consumes alcohol. With time, the brain disassociates happiness and alcohol use, helping patients maintain sobriety. Even if they relapse, naltrexone will prevent them from having the same high they were used to when they previously drunk alcohol. Unlike other medications used to treat alcohol or drug addiction, naltrexone isn't addictive. Therefore, patients won’t develop a dependence or addiction to naltrexone.
Can I Get Drunk On Naltrexone?
Naltrexone blocks the feelings of intoxication from alcohol. However, it doesn’t stop any of the effects a person may have from drinking, like impaired judgment, decreased response time, or poor coordination. Thus, although someone might not feel drunk, this can make activities such as working with heavy machinery or driving dangerous.
Does Naltrexone Have Any Side Effects?
Naltrexone is usually well tolerated but has side effects just like other medications. Some of the naltrexone implants side effects patients may notice are:
Depression has also been reported in some patients using naltrexone. It’s important for patients to inform their doctor if they have a history of any mental health disorder or attempted suicide before starting the treatment. Also, they should tell close friends or family members that they're taking naltrexone and ask them to call the doctor immediately in case they have signs of depression.
Equally important, patients must avoid operating heavy machinery, driving, or performing any hazardous activity until they know the exact effects naltrexone has on them. For instance, a person may feel dizzy after taking the medication, and if they’re driving or doing any dangerous activity, that could put them at risk of injury or accidents.
Top-Rated MAT Program
At Beat Addiction Recovery, our medication-assisted treatment for alcohol and drug addiction lays the groundwork for long-term change. Combined with a comprehensive drug or alcohol addiction treatment program, MAT increases treatment retention and chances of patients attaining lasting recovery. Contact us to learn more about our comprehensive medication-assisted treatment program for your practice: 888-913-1099.