There is good news for all those alcoholics and addicts who want to have a control on their alcohol dependence and opioid addiction. Naltrexone is the medication that shows them the path to recover. It is an opioid receptor antagonist applied principally for longer-term dependence control. Bearing the generic form Naltrexone hydrochloride, the drug is marketed under the brand names Revia. Naltrexone has another brand name Vivitrol which is its extended-release form sold in certain countries including the United States.
Mechanism of Action
Naltrexone proves quite effective in all those people who have quitted drinking, but are still experiencing the craving for alcohol. The drug lowers this intense desire of many alcohol dependent people. The exact mechanism of action of Naltrexone is yet to be understood fully. However, according to some researchers, it acts by impacting the neural tracts in the brain where neurotransmitter dopamine is noticed.
In case of people who are addicted to opioids like heroin and cocaine, Naltrexone works by inhibiting the impacts of these drugs in the brain. This opioid receptor antagonist stops the usual reaction of the part of the brain that generates the feeling of pleasance when opioids are consumed.
Possible Users of the Drug
Revia or Depade (Naltrexone) is indicated for people who have given up drinking alcohol or taking opioids for 7 to 10 days. Taking this medication while the user is still using drugs or alcohol can invite severe withdrawal symptoms.
Naltrexone is contraindicated in patients who are allergic to this drug or any of its ingredients. It is not prescribed for people who are suffering from acute hepatitis, liver or kidney disease. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not at all use Naltrexone.
Dosage & Administration
Naltrexone under the trade name Revia is supplied in 50 mg tablet form. It is generally prescribed to be administered once a day to patients who have stopped drinking or taking opioids to decrease the craving for these substances. Naltrexone therapy should start during the early days of abstention when the chance of reverting is highest. Most of the time, the total duration of the treatment is stood at 12 weeks, in order to help those attempting the management of drug dependence.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a once-monthly injectible form of Naltrexone, known as Vivitrol in the year 2006. A number of studies showed that the injection form of Naltrexone was more effectual in sustaining abstinence than the tablet form. The reason is its lack of compliance with any particular medication guidelines.
Effectiveness of the Drug
The findings of various researches have proved the effectiveness of Naltrexone in reducing the desire for alcohol and opioids in some people. Everyone is not benefited by this medication. Apart from medication, an overall treatment regimen needs to be adopted that includes psychosocial therapy, counseling or support group participation.
Naltrexone does not cure addiction. It can only help people who have stopped taking alcohol or drugs to maintain abstinence through their reduced craving for such things. It does not treat alcohol or the termination of drug taking symptoms also.