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Naltrexone Hydrochloride is an opiate antagonist that is used to prevent people who have been dependent on opioid drugs. An opioid is a drug that works in the brain to create a variety of effects. It includes the relief of pain. Opioids can be medications frequently referred to as painkillers. They can also be called street drugs such as heroin. Several remedy opioids are used to block pain signals between the body and the brain. These are typically prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. Moreover, opioids can make some people feel high or happy, relaxed, and can be addictive.
Opioids work by attaching to proteins called opioid receptors. These are present on nerve cells in the spinal cord, brain, gut, and other parts of the body. If this occurs, through the spinal cord to the brain, the opioids block pain messages sent from the body. While they can effectively relieve pain, opioids carry some risks and can be highly addictive. The risk of addiction is especially high when opioids are used to manage chronic pain over a long period.
This medication may also be used for the treatment of alcohol abuse. This can help people drink less alcohol or stop drinking altogether. Naltrexone Hydrochloride lessens as well the desire to drink alcohol when used with a treatment program that includes support, counseling, and lifestyle changes. People who are experiencing alcohol abuse are those drinking causes harm and distress. Alcohol abuse can range from mild to severe depending on the symptoms. This condition causes;
- Loss of control – which is not being able to stop drinking once you’ve started
- Craving – the strong need to drink
- Negative emotional state – feeling irritable and anxious when you are not drinking
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this medication. Naltrexone Hydrochlorideis the active ingredient of this product. It is a white crystalline compound that is soluble in water. This is supplied as a tablet for oral use. Each tablet is available in the dosage form of 50 mg.
How does Naltrexone Hydrochloride work?
This drug blocks opioid receptors in the brain. This means that if you take an opioid while you are taking this drug, it won’t be able to stimulate the opioid receptors. It won’t also have any effects. While you are taking this medication, opioids will no longer give you the high you previously got by using them. Although the physical craving for the opioid will have gone after going through detoxification, the psychological craving usually lasts for longer. Naltrexone Hydrochloride does not stop this it just stops you from getting a high from the drug if you should give in to the craving. Naltrexone Hydrochloride must be used in combination with other forms of therapy and good social and psychological support. It is to help you remain drug-free.
How to use Naltrexone Hydrochloride?
This drug is to be taken by mouth usually 50 milligrams once a day. Take it with or without food as directed by your doctor. Each tablet is to be swallowed as a whole with a full glass of water. The recommended dosage is given depending on your medical condition and response. Your doctor may start you at a lower dose and monitor you for nu side effects or withdrawal symptoms. This medication is taken as directed. Do not increase your dose, take it more often, or stop taking it without the approval of your doctor. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day. Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. Let your doctor know if you start using drugs or alcohol again.
Drink lots of fluids while having this medication. Doing so may lessen the risk of certain side effects. If you missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed dose. Let your doctor know if your condition does not improve or if it gets worse.
What are the side effects of Naltrexone Hydrochloride?
Common side effects:
- Increased thirst
- Sleep problems or insomnia
- Muscle or joint aches
- Decreased sex drive
- Difficulty having an orgasm
Tell your doctor if you have these serious side effects:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Abdominal or stomach cramps
- Bone, joint, or muscle aches
- Mood/mental changes (visual hallucinations, confusion, anxiety, extreme sleepiness)
- Runny nose
- Liver problems (loss of appetite, nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, dark urine, jaundice, clay-colored stools)
Things to remember while having this treatment:
- This drug may sometimes cause drowsiness that may affect your ability to drive or operate machinery safely. Make sure that this medicine affects you before driving or operating a machine.
- You must not attempt to overcome the opioid blockage caused by this medicine by taking high doses of an opioid. This may potentially result in a life-threatening opioid overdose.
- Use this drug with caution in people with decreased liver or kidney function.
- This should not be used in people who are currently dependent on opioids and currently taking opioid-containing drugs. As well as people with acute inflammation of the liver, severe kidney failure, and those with hereditary galactose intolerance, this drug should not be used.
- This is to be used carefully in women who are pregnant and only if the potential benefits outweigh any risk of developing a baby. If you think you could be pregnant while having this medication, you should consult your doctor right away.
- You should get advice from your doctor before breastfeeding. This drug may pass into breast milk.
- Tell your doctor if you have current medications including herbal supplements or vitamins.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages while having this product.
- Do not take this if you ever had an allergic reaction or if you are allergic to this drug.
- Keep this at room temperature far from the reach of children.