Naltrexone treatment might sound like a new approach for you, but the truth is, the Waismann Method physicians have been using this medication, in conjunction with a medical detox, for two decades.
What Is Naltrexone?
Naltrexone is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat opioid use and alcohol disorders. It comes in a pill form (Revia or Depade ) or as an injectable (Vivitrol). The pill form comes in one dose of 50 mg, and it can be taken once per day. The injectable extended-release come in 380 mg and is given to patients once a month.
When the oral form is chosen, dosage may vary on your medical history and your individual response to the Naltrexone therapy. Some doctors may start you at a lower oral dose and monitor how you respond. If you have minimum side effects, a monthly Vivitrol injection may be an option. For this and other reasons, it is important to take this medication as directed. Do not decrease or increase your daily dose, do not take it more often, and do not stop taking it without discussing it with your doctor first.
Naltrexone Treatment Benefits
Naltrexone has the ability to assist significantly in reducing physical cravings to opioid drugs by binding to the receptor sites. The medication helps in blocking the euphoric and sedative effects of drugs such as heroin, morphine, and codeine.
It is essential to achieve complete opioid detoxification before commencing a Naltrexone therapy. When patients go through a non-accelerated method of detoxification, the recommended time of abstinence from an opioid drug is at least 7 to 10 days. However, in the event a rapid detox treatment was the chosen detoxification method, naltrexone therapy can be initiated immediately to reduce relapse risk.
Before someone can begin naltrexone therapy, they must be appropriately screened and assessed. Also, the patient must be completely opioid-free. A comprehensive physical examination that can identify any medical issues (such as liver disease) should also be done prior to taking this medication.
Is Naltrexone the same as Suboxone and Methadone?
Absolutely not. Naltrexone is not an opioid drug and for that reason, it is not addictive and does not cause withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking the medication. Now, Suboxone and Methadone are both opioid narcotics with high affinity to the receptors and extremely addictive drugs. Although there is Naltrexone within the Suboxone, the active addictive ingredient is the opiate and not the antagonist.
Opioid Use Disorder Treatment
People that have become dependent on heroin, suboxone or other opioid drugs like Suboxone and Methadone, need an effective detoxification to start any recovery process. Medical detoxification at the Waismann method® in a full-service hospital is usually the most successful and safe option. Although, there are many treatment options, choosing the right one is probably the most important decision you will make. With the right detox center and ongoing therapy, you can regain your strength and remain drug-free.
“If you are seeking a rehabilitation center for you or a loved one, consider the safety and effectiveness of the detoxification and the benefits of a naltrexone treatment program.”
For many people struggling with opioid use disorder, treatment with naltrexone after a complete detoxification is a great option. By blocking the physiological sense of pleasure associated with opioid use, naltrexone significantly reduces cravings. Cravings can lead to intense anxiety and the desire to continue using the drug. Naltrexone in addition to individual behavioral approaches has helped many people return to a productive life free from opioid addiction.
People using naltrexone should not use any opioids or illicit drug. They should also abstain from drinking alcohol taking sedatives or tranquilizers unless under direct instructions from a physician.
Patients on naltrexone therapy need to be aware that they may also have a lower tolerance to opioid drugs after a period of abstinence. In other words, they might have much more sensitivity to the same or lower doses of drug they used to take. Therefore, they are at a higher overdose risk if a relapse occurs.
Other Side Effects May Include:
- Upset stomach or vomiting
- A headache
- Sleep problems/tiredness
- Joint or muscle pain
Remember, if any of the above side effects occur, contact your treating physician. Sometimes these side effects can be managed by adjusting the dosages and time when the medication is taken.
If you or someone you know is having difficulty coming off or staying off opioid drugs, you might want to consider the Waismann Method Opioid Treatment Program. An inpatient medical detoxification followed by a few days at a recovery retreat gives you an excellent chance to come off opioids and immediately start a Naltrexone Treatment Program.
Published on May 18, 2018
Reviewed by Clare Waismann, CATC, Founder of Waismann Method® Advanced Treatment for Opiate Dependence
All topics for the Opiates.com blog are selected and written based on high standards of editorial quality, including cited sources. Articles are reviewed by Clare Waismann, CATC and founder of Waismann Method®, for accuracy, credibility and relevancy to the audience. Clare Waismann is an authority and expert on opioid dependence, opioid use disorder, substance dependence, detoxification treatments, detox recovery, and other topics covered on the Opiates.com blog. Some articles are additionally reviewed by one of Waismann Method®’s specialists, depending on their field of expertise. For additional information and disclaimers regarding third-party sources and content for informational purposes only, please see our Terms of Service.