Magnolia Medical Group Naltrexone treatment in Denver, CO. Call us today!
The Food and Drug Administration has approved several medications to help with the treatment of substance use disorders. Naltrexone is one that is used specifically to treat alcohol use disorder or opioid use disorder.
Here is some important information about Denver naltrexone therapy to help you make an informed decision about it.
What Is Naltrexone?
Naltrexone is not a cure for addiction; there is no such thing. However, along with behavioral health services, therapies and counseling a person can overcome alcohol and opioid addiction. Denver naltrexone treatment is part of a comprehensive medication-assisted treatment plan available from Magnolia Medical Group that takes a whole-person approach. It is available as extended-release, intramuscular monthly injections. Also known as Vivitrol, this type of naltrexone therapy is administered by a doctor. For alcohol use disorder only, low-dose Naltrexone is also available in a pill form. Sold under the brand names Depade and ReVia, naltrexone pills are usually taken once daily or as prescribed by a doctor.
How Does Naltrexone Work?
Denver naltrexone treatment works by binding to endorphin receptors in the body. This blocks the effects of sedation and euphoria that morphine, heroin, and other opioids have on the brain. By binding to the receptors, naltrexone suppresses your cravings for opioids or at least reduces them significantly. Naltrexone therapy offers the following additional benefits:
- No potential for diversion or abuse
- No withdrawal symptoms
- Not an opioid
- Does not block natural endorphins
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How Does Naltrexone Treat Alcohol Use Disorder?
By binding to the body’s endorphin receptors, naltrexone blocks the effects produced by alcohol so that you do not feel them. This helps decrease alcohol consumption by reducing cravings.
Naltrexone can produce nausea, vomiting, and other strong side effects if taken while alcohol is still present in the body. Once the alcohol detox process is complete, Denver naltrexone treatment can begin. Patients with alcohol use disorder have the choice of receiving naltrexone as a pill or an intramuscular injection. When taken in pill form, the typical dosage is 50 milligrams per day. We may prescribe 100- to 150-milligrams doses to be taken every two to three days in our clinic. Oral naltrexone may cause mild stomach upset as a side effect. To prevent this, you can take it with antacids or food.
How Does Naltrexone Treat Opioid Use Disorder?
Only the injectable form of naltrexone is approved to treat opioid use disorder. Before naltrexone therapy with the injectable formulation can take place, a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy is required. This ensures that the risks involved with taking the drug do not outweigh the benefits. As with alcohol use disorder, you need to wait before beginning naltrexone for 10 to 14 days after taking long-acting opioids and at least seven days after using short-acting ones.
Before beginning naltrexone, you need to disclose all the medications you are currently taking and inform us of any change. While taking the medication, you should not drink alcohol or use opioids, nor should you take any tranquilizers or sedatives, nor any form of illicit drug.
It can take about three or four months to complete a course of naltrexone treatment. It can reduce your tolerance to opioids if you relapse into drug use after treatment or discontinue the use of the medication before the course is over. This could have life-threatening consequences if you attempt to use the same doses that you took before beginning therapy with naltrexone. To give you time to develop new, healthy habits, we may recommend that you continue taking naltrexone for up to a year.
What Should You Discuss Before Starting Naltrexone?
In some situations, treatment with naltrexone is contraindicated. If any of the following applies to you, talk to us about it before you start an MAT program with naltrexone:
- Tell us if you are allergic to any medications. You may not be able to take naltrexone if you are allergic to any of the ingredients. In the case of injectable naltrexone, this includes the liquid used to mix it.
- Give us a list of all the medications you are taking. This includes over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements, and vitamins. In particular, tell us if you are prescribed any medications for cough, diarrhea, or pain that contain opioids. Tell us if you currently use any illegal drugs.
- Talk to us about any underlying medical conditions you may have, such as kidney disorders, liver disease, or bleeding problems such as hemophilia.
- Inform us if you plan to become pregnant, are currently pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
Situations such as these can complicate MAT with naltrexone. We may have to recommend a different treatment program.
Why Choose Naltrexone Therapy?
Successful treatment depends on committing to your recovery, which requires focusing on the psychological aspects. However, you can face many challenges during the early weeks and months that make it very difficult to achieve that focus. It can be extremely difficult to stay free from addiction when you are faced with intense cravings.
Naltrexone by itself doesn’t treat addiction. However, by blocking your endorphin receptors, it prevents you from getting high. More importantly, it helps to decrease the intensity of the cravings you may have. Removing the distractions of the physical symptoms helps you to concentrate on the overall recovery process.
When you are ready to begin treatment, contact us at Magnolia Medical Group. We can explain your options to you and help you determine whether naltrexone is right for you.