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Naltrexone

Naltrexone blocks the effects of opioid medication, including pain relief or feelings of well-being that can lead to opioid abuse. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic. Naltrexone is used as part of a treatment program for drug or alcohol dependence.

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Description

Naltrexone blocks the effects of opioid medication, including pain relief or feelings of well-being that can lead to opioid abuse. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic. Naltrexone is used as part of a treatment program for drug or alcohol dependence.

Naltrexone is used to prevent relapse in people who became dependent on opioid medicine and then stopped using it. Naltrexone can help keep you from feeling a “need” to use the opioid.

Naltrexone is also used to treat alcoholism by reducing your urge to drink alcohol. This may help you drink less or stop drinking completely. Naltrexone will not cause you to “sober up” and will not decrease the effects of alcohol you recently consumed.

Naltrexone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

How should I use naltrexone?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Your doctor may recommend that naltrexone be given to you by a family member or other caregiver. This is to make sure you are using the medicine as it was prescribed as part of your treatment.

Take the naltrexone tablet with a full glass of water.

Naltrexone may be taken with food if it upsets your stomach.

Use naltrexone regularly to get the most benefit.

Wear a medical alert tag or carry an ID card stating that you use naltrexone. Any medical care provider who treats you should know that you are using this medicine. If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are taking naltrexone.

Naltrexone is only part of a complete treatment program that may also include additional forms of counseling and/or monitoring. Follow your doctor’s instructions very closely.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

Naltrexone dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Alcohol Dependence:

Oral:

Average dose: 50 mg orally once a day

Duration of therapy: 12 weeks

Intramuscular:

380 mg intramuscularly every 4 weeks/once a month

Comments:

-There is no data specifically addressing switching from buprenorphine or methadone to naltrexone, however some patients have reported severe manifestations of precipitated withdrawal when switched from an opioid agonist to opioid antagonist therapy.

-Patients switching from buprenorphine or methadone may be vulnerable to precipitated withdrawal for up to 2 weeks.

-Be prepared to manage withdrawal symptomatically with non-opioid medications.

-To achieve best possible results, implement compliance-enhancing techniques, especially medication compliance

Usual Adult Dose for Opiate Dependence:

Oral:

Initial dose: 25 mg orally once a day

Maintenance dose: 50 mg orally once a day (if no withdrawals on 25 mg/day)

Intramuscular:

380 mg intramuscularly every 4 weeks/once a month

 

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