Naltrexone

Naltrexone is a medication that can be used to treat both opioid and alcohol use disorders.

Brand Names

ReVia®, Depade®, and Vivitrol®

Administered

Oral tablet or monthly injection

How It Works

For opioid use disorders, naltrexone functions by attaching to opioid receptors in the brain without activating them—blocking them, essentially. As a result, opioids cannot attach to the brain receptors and have no effect. A patient must be opioid-free for at seven days before beginning treatment with naltrexone.

For alcohol use disorders, naltrexone decreases urges to drink alcohol.

Clinical Benefits

Clinical studies show that naltrexone sold as Vivitrol is non-addictive, safe, and effective at reducing opioid dependence and cravings for patients who stick with the treatment.

Common Side Effects

Nausea, headache, dizziness, anxiety, fatigue, trouble sleeping

Availability

By prescription

1. Lancet(2011 Apr 30; 377(9776):1506-13
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