This medication is used to treat alcohol abuse. It is used only in people who have been able to stop drinking for some time before starting treatment with naltrexone. You should not be drinking when you start naltrexone. It can help people drink less alcohol or stop drinking altogether. Naltrexone works in the brain to decrease the desire to drink. It does not work like some other treatments for alcohol abuse (such as disulfiram). It will not make you sick when taken with alcohol.This medication is also used to prevent relapse to opioid abuse, after opioid detoxification. It works by blocking the action of opioids. This medication must not be used in people currently taking opiates, including methadone. Doing so can cause sudden withdrawal symptoms.Naltrexone belongs to a class of drugs known as opiate antagonists. It is used as part of a complete treatment program for alcohol or opioid abuse (such as counseling, 12-step program, lifestyle changes).
How to use
Before you receive this medication, you should have a urine test to check for recent opiate drug use. Your doctor may give you another medication (naloxone challenge test) to check for opiate use. Do not use alcohol/any opiates for at least 7 days before starting naltrexone. You may need to stop certain opiate drugs (such as methadone) 10 to 14 days before starting naltrexone.
This medication is injected into a muscle in the buttock by a health care professional. It is given as directed by your doctor, usually once a month.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Your doctor may start you at a lower dose and monitor you for any side effects or withdrawal symptoms before increasing your dose.
To get the most benefit from this medication, use it regularly and continue your treatment program. To help you remember, mark your calendar with the days you need to receive this drug and/or be treated.
Tell your doctor if you start drinking alcohol again or start using drugs.
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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.