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What is Naltrexone?

Naltrexone, also known as naltrexone hydrochloride and sold under the brand names Revia, Depade, Vivitrol and others, is an opioid antagonist, that works to block the effects of intravenously injected opioids.

Naltrexone is available in oral form, as well as injection form.

Uses for Naltrexone

Naltrexone is used in both opioid dependence and alcohol dependence.

In treating alcoholism, naltrexone works not as a cure but as a means for helping stretch out sessions of sobriety in combination with other treatments. It works by barricading the pleasure area of the brain, so when you've stopped drinking, you don't experience the same urges and desires for alcohol.

In treating opioid addiction, naltrexone works in much the same way but actually blocks the effects of the drug and the experience of pleasure when they are taken. Again, naltrexone works best alongside other treatments for narcotics addiction.

Possible Side Effects of Naltrexone

Side effects of naltrexone include headache, nervousness, insomnia, dizziness, constipation, drowsiness, anxiety and more. You should report any side effects or abnormalities to your doctor, as he or she may be able to adjust dosage or recommend treatment for the effects themselves.

Naltrexone may interact with other medications and drugs, such as morphine, codeine, heroin and more. A minimum 10-day window of not taking interactive medications must be allowed before naltrexone can be taken, unless advised by a doctor. Give a complete history of any medications you are taking to your doctor so he or she is aware of any possible interactions.

Warnings About Naltrexone

The information listed here regarding naltrexone is for reference purposes only, and should not be used in place of medical advice. Always consult a doctor before introducing a new medication into your health regimen for correct dosage and treatment information, proper monitoring and further side effects or possible interactions with other medications.

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