Naltrexone Treatment: Uses, Benefits & Dosage

Are you or a loved one struggling with opioid use disorder (OUD)? At Community Medical Services, we understand the challenges of addiction and are here to support you every step of the way. Naltrexone is a trusted, FDA-approved medication that can help you overcome cravings and stay on track. Our compassionate team is dedicated to providing personalized, medication-assisted treatment to help you achieve long-term recovery and reclaim your life.

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What is Naltrexone?

Naltrexone is a potent opioid antagonist that works by blocking the effects of illicit opioids, occupying opioid receptors in the brain. This medication is available in two forms: a daily pill or an injectable option, like the well-known Vivitrol®. The injectable form is administered by a healthcare provider once every 28 days, providing a convenient alternative for those who prefer not to take daily medication.

While naltrexone doesn’t relieve withdrawal symptoms, it effectively reduces cravings, making it easier for patients to stay committed to their treatment plan. This approach supports a sustainable recovery, empowering individuals to reclaim their lives from addiction.

How Naltrexone Works

Naltrexone blocks the euphoric effects of illicit opioids by binding to and blocking opioid receptors in the brain. Because of this, there is no abuse potential with naltrexone, but using this medication requires patients to refrain from all opioid use for 7-10 days before starting treatment.

Like other MAT methods, naltrexone treatment is most effective when paired with a comprehensive plan that includes counseling and therapy services to address the underlying causes of opioid dependence. Community Medical Services works with patients to create a comprehensive treatment plan that treats the “whole patient,” addressing both the physical aspects of addiction and its underlying causes to facilitate a complete recovery.

Potential Naltrexone Side Effects

As with all medications, there is a possibility of experiencing side effects while using naltrexone. However, naltrexone side effects are uncommon and often clear up in a few days. While there is a chance of nausea, headache, anxiety, or muscle pain, patients on naltrexone don’t typically experience severe or long-lasting symptoms.

The Benefits of Naltrexone Medication-Assisted Treatment

With medication-assisted treatment, patients receive a comprehensive, tailored treatment plan that addresses all aspects of their addiction. Like other MAT options, naltrexone is an effective way to help patients remain in treatment and avoid relapse. The primary benefits of naltrexone treatment include:

Available In Various Forms

Naltrexone is available as a daily pill or monthly injection, providing convenient dosing and administration options that meet patients’ unique needs.

Reduce Cravings

Naltrexone effectively minimizes alcohol and opioid cravings to help patients stay in treatment and avoid relapse.

No Dependence Potential

Because naltrexone occupies opioid receptors in the brain, it successfully blocks feelings of euphoria from illicit opioids without forming new habits.

Naltrexone Administration & Dosage

Naltrexone is available in two forms: a generic, daily pill or a monthly injection. Both forms of naltrexone are effective as part of a comprehensive treatment plan but are not recommended during pregnancy. Naltrexone comes in a variety of doses to meet individual needs and preferences, including:

Oral Tablets: Available in 25, 50, or 100 mg doses, naltrexone can be prescribed in pill form and taken once daily either at home or in our clinics in the presence of a healthcare provider.

Injections: The injectable form of naltrexone, Vivitrol®, is administered in a 380 mg dose per 4 mL of solution. A healthcare professional gives this injection once a month in a clinical setting.

Choosing the Right Medication:Is Naltrexone Right for You?

Naltrexone is a powerful tool for reducing opioid and alcohol cravings and helping patients stay committed to their treatment plans. However, it may not be the best choice for those experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms, as it does not alleviate these symptoms, nor for anyone pregnant or who may become pregnant. At Community Medical Services, we believe in a personalized approach to medication-assisted treatment. We encourage you to discuss your unique situation and needs with our experienced professionals, who will help you explore all available options and find the best treatment plan for your journey to recovery.

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