Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs have become instrumental in fostering a sustainable recovery. Among the other FDA-approved medications available, Naltrexone stands out for its unique mechanism of action. Keep reading and explore all about how does Naltrexone work, its uses, and its precautions.
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How Does Naltrexone Work in MAT Programs
Naltrexone is an essential component of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) programs during addiction treatment. Here is a brief overview:
- Naltrexone enhances long-term healing when combined with therapeutic therapies like CBT or DBT.
- It complements counseling and assistance by addressing both the physiological and psychological aspects of addiction.
- Naltrexone provides individuals with a holistic recovery strategy. This collaborative approach increases the overall performance of MAT programs.
Levels of Care at a MAT Clinic
To achieve long-term sobriety, MAT clinics offer different levels of care, keeping individuals’ needs in mind:
- Assessment and Evaluation
- Outpatient Services
- Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
- High-intensity Outpatient Program (HIOP)/PHP
- Aftercare and Continuing Care
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How Does Naltrexone Work for Alcohol?
In 1994, the FDA expanded the approved use of naltrexone to include the treatment of alcohol use disorder. This marked a significant development in the drug’s applicability in addiction rehab. Naltrexone’s primary function in alcohol use disorder (AUD) treatment involves:
- blocking opioid receptors
- reducing the pleasurable sensations associated with alcohol consumption
- inhibiting the rewarding effects of alcohol
- gain control over their drinking behavior
How Does Naltrexone Work for Opioid Addiction?
In 1970, Naltrexone was initially developed and researched as a potential treatment for opioid addiction. Beyond its application in AUD, Naltrexone also plays a vital role in treating opioid addiction. During Opioid Addiction Treatment, its role involves:
- acting as a receptor antagonist
- hindering the effects of opioids
- discouraging misuse
- aiding individuals in overcoming dependence
Did you know that Naltrexone’s mechanism involves blocking the effects of opioids, both endogenous and exogenous? At ChoicePoint, our DEA-certified practitioners offer Naltrexone for AUD and OUD. Call us now at 844.445.2563.
Top 3 Uses of Naltrexone
Have you ever wondered how does naltrexone work in the brain? Naltrexone influences the brain’s reward system by:
- acting as an opioid receptor antagonist
- blocking the receptors and
- reducing the rewarding effects of the drug.
Naltrexone is vital for addiction treatment because it breaks the cycle of dependence. It does so by inhibiting the effects of opioids and reducing cravings. This results in preventing relapse and supports long-term recovery in both alcohol and opiate addiction. Here are the top 3 uses of Naltrexone:
- Naltrexone is extensively used in MAT clinics to treat Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). It decreases cravings and aids in the maintenance of sobriety. It suppresses the pleasant effects of alcohol. As a result, it is helpful in comprehensive treatment strategies for patients suffering from alcoholism.
- Naltrexone is essential in the treatment of opiate addiction. It works as an opioid receptor antagonist, blocking the effects of opioids and preventing their abuse. As a result, it is beneficial in preventing relapse and assisting individuals on their journey to overcome opioid dependence.
- In addiction treatment centers, Naltrexone is used frequently as a relapse prevention approach. As a result of its capacity to minimize the reinforcing effects of substances, whether alcohol or opioids, it is a crucial asset in maintaining long-term sobriety. Naltrexone contributes to the overall success of addiction treatment programs by lowering the likelihood of relapse.
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5 Precautions and Considerations While Taking Naltrexone
Naltrexone may be a very versatile FDA-approved medication. However, some precautions must be taken. Here are 3 precautions to observe while taking Naltrexone:
- While taking Naltrexone, checking your liver function regularly is critical. Individuals with impaired liver function or pre-existing liver diseases should use Naltrexone cautiously. The healthcare provider may adjust the dosage to ensure safe use.
- To avoid a triggered withdrawal, it is necessary to remain opioid-free for a particular period before starting Naltrexone. Individuals should undergo a thorough evaluation to ensure their bodies are opioid-free. This may reduce the likelihood of withdrawal symptoms after beginning the medication.
- It is advised that patients must openly discuss their history of physical and mental illness with their doctors. Moreover, if individuals have any allergies, make sure the doctor knows.
- Do not drive or operate heavy machinery after administering the dose. Naltrexone may make individuals dizzy.
- Most importantly, do not combine Naltrexone with any other drugs like Marijuana.
Timeline of Naltrexone’s Efficacy
The timeline of Naltrexone’s efficacy in addiction treatment is a nuanced journey. Gradual changes and transformative milestones mark it. Various factors, including individual physiology and the specific substance involved, influence how does Naltrexone work. Some may witness a more rapid transformation, while others navigate a more measured evolution. Here is a brief timeline:
- Subtle reduction in cravings
- Diminishing allure toward the addictive substance
- Consistent adherence to the prescribed treatment plan
- Reduction in the intensity and frequency of cravings
- A crucial turning point in gaining control over addictive impulses
- Efficacy unfolds gradually over time
- Contributes to resilience and sustained recovery
How Does Naltrexone Work- In a Nutshell!
Naltrexone has a mode of action that treats both alcohol and opioid addiction. Understanding how does Naltresone work may help individuals make informed decisions. In the world of MAT, Naltrexone is more than simply a drug; it’s a catalyst that changes people’s lives. Discuss your treatment options and Insurance verification with your healthcare provider. Strict adherence to the addiction treatment program provided by a DEA-certified practitioner is essential. Missing doses or stopping Naltrexone too soon can reduce its effectiveness. To maximize the benefits of Naltrexone in addiction treatment, individuals should talk freely with their healthcare providers.
Looking for a MAT clinic that offers Naltrexone prescriptions online? Contact ChoicePoint today!
Common Questions about Naltrexone and how does it work;
How Does Naltrexone Make You Feel?
Naltrexone is not a controlled substance. It works by preventing the effects of narcotics, particularly the “high” feeling that drives you to use them. Therefore, it may help prevent the “high” feeling that makes you desire to drink alcohol and opioids. Naltrexone has no narcotic-like effects and will not cause mental or physical reliance.
What Should I Avoid While Taking Naltrexone?
Research on all the things to avoid when taking Naltrexone. Here is a list (not exhaustive ) of drugs to avoid while taking Naltrexone:
- Diarrhea medicine (such as diphenoxylate)
- Opioid pain or cough relievers (codeine, hydrocodone)
Why is Naltrexone Taken at Night?
Naltrexone is usually taken at night as it may have extra effects that aid in weight loss. Naltrexone has been shown to improve sleep in patients with chronic pain.
How Long Should You Be on Naltrexone?
Most people take the medication for at least 12 weeks. Naltrexone should only be taken once a day. Take naltrexone exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Don’t take extra medicines, skip tablets, or stop taking drugs until you speak with your doctor.
Why Do You Have to Wait 7 Days to Start Naltrexone?
To avoid an undesirable withdrawal, doctors suggest patients take Naltrexone after 5-7 days have passed since the last Opioid abuse. Precipitated withdrawal occurs as a result of how powerfully naltrexone binds to opioid receptors in the brain.
Can Naltrexone Affect Your Periods?
On the contrary, 50mg of Naltrexone improves menstrual cycles and reduces ovarian hyperandrogenism.