Physicians prescribe opiate antagonist such as Naloxone, to reverse the effects of other narcotic medicines. They prescribe opiates most often to treat pain. These drugs are derived naturally or synthetically from the opium plant. These drugs, such as hydrocodone and oxycodone, bind to opiate receptors in the body to block pain signals. They can also cause users to experience euphoria. Once a patient develops a tolerance to an opiate, he or she may begin to escalate use to achieve the same effects. A physical dependency can develop and this is very hard to reverse without proper medical treatment. Opiate antagonist drugs are designed to block the opiate receptors, which in turn leads to a blocking of the drugs’ effects. They can be used in the treatment of opioid dependence and in the reversal of an opioid overdose.
Examples of opiate antagonist and its uses:
Naltrexone, Naloxone and Buprenorphine.
Naltrexone (Revia) works by blocking opiate receptors in the brain and the euphoric effects that opiates elicit. This helps to block cravings. Patients can take Naltrexone orally or by injection to fight addiction to alcohol and opiate medications, both legal and illegal. The Mayo Clinic says Naltrexone won’t cure the addiction by itself, but that it works best as part of a treatment that includes counseling and support meetings.
Naloxone (Narcan) is an opiate antagonist which temporarily reverses a drug overdose involving opiates. Thus, the drug is injected or inhaled it through the nose and acts within minutes to reverse effects of the medication. In the case of overdoses that are nearly fatal, Naloxone can restore breathing and blood pressure. People who take Naloxone will go into withdrawal after administration.
Buprenorphine is a medication that is similar to morphine. Doctors prescribe it in the treatment of opiate dependence. Medications that contain buprenorphine include Suboxone and Subutex. It forms a strong bond with the opiate receptors in the body and stays bound to them longer than any other opiate medication. This can allow for longer pain relief and a lower risk of physical dependence. The medication is opiate based, however, meaning that it can lead to dependence and the need for detoxification.
Opiate Antagonist Side Effects
As well as its wanted effects, opiate antagonist may cause unwanted and sometimes dangerous side effects that might require immediate medical attention.
If any of the side effects occur you will need to check with your doctor immediately:
- Abdominal cramps
- irregular heart beat
- difficulty breathing
- Increased blood pressure
- involuntary muscle movements
- vomiting or nausea
- pale lips, nails or skin
For more information on inpatient medical detoxification with the use opiate antagonist, give us a call today at 310-205-0808.
You can read a bit more on the Waismann Method as a global leader in the development of effective and safe medical detoxification, to overcoming opiate drugs like heroin and Suboxone. Waismann Method facilities are located exclusively in Southern California and includes an accredited hospital, staffed with a number of medical specialists, in order to provide patients with all medical resources that might be necessary to ensure the safest and most effective opiate detox available.
In addition to our inpatient hospital detoxification, we have included our exclusive post-detox facility unique to the Waismann Method protocol. We take our responsibility to the well being of our patients very seriously. Therefore, instead of sending patients to a hotel room with a family member or friend like most other rapid detox centers, our patients receive continuum care at our licensed recovery center, Domus Retreat, for a few days. Additionally, at the recovery retreat, a staff of experienced professionals works together to maximize the effectiveness of the detox process and the comfort of each patient.