This medication is used to prevent people who have been addicted to certain drugs (opiates) from taking them again.
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This medication is used to prevent people who have been addicted to certain drugs (opiates) from taking them again. It is used as part of a complete treatment program for drug abuse (e.g., compliance monitoring, counseling, behavioral contract, lifestyle changes). 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 works in the brain to prevent opiate effects (e.g., feelings of well-being, pain relief). It also decreases the desire to take opiates. This medication is also used to treat alcohol abuse. It can help people drink less alcohol or stop drinking altogether. It also decreases the desire to drink alcohol when used with a treatment program that includes counseling, support, and lifestyle changes.
How To Take
Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually 50 milligrams once daily or as directed by your doctor. This medication may be given as part of a program where a health care professional will watch you take the medication. In this case, your doctor may order a higher dose (100-150 milligrams) to be taken every 2-3 days to make it easier to schedule clinic visits. Naltrexone may be taken with food or antacids if stomach upset occurs. A urine test should be done 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 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. 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. Take this medication as directed. Do not increase your dose, take it more often, or stop taking it without your doctor's approval. Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day. Tell your doctor if you start using drugs or alcohol again.
Before taking naltrexone, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: current or recent use (in the last 7 to 14 days) of any type of opioid drug (such as morphine, methadone, buprenorphine), kidney disease, liver disease. You should carry or wear medical identification stating that you are taking this drug so that appropriate treatment can be given in a medical emergency. This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana. After stopping naltrexone treatment, you may be more sensitive to lower doses of opioids, increasing your risk of possibly life-threatening side effects from the narcotic (e.g., decreased breathing, loss of consciousness). This medication blocks the effects of opiate drugs (including heroin) and similar drugs (opioids). However, large doses of heroin or narcotics can overcome this block. Trying to overcome this block is very dangerous and may cause serious injury, loss of consciousness, and death. Make sure you completely understand and accept the risks and benefits of using this medication. Follow your doctor's instructions closely. Before having surgery or any medical treatment, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. This drug passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.