Naltrexone is used to block the effects of alcohol or opioid substances and it works by preventing patients from experiencing the high that they usually experience when using these substances. Although this medication is available in pill form, the Naltrexone injection has also become an extremely popular option over the past few years. Below is a little additional information pertaining to the Naltrexone injection and what it is used for.
Not a Cure for Addiction
When patients hear about the fact that the Naltrexone injection is used to treat alcohol and opioid dependencies, many of them are under the impression that they will not need to do anything else to stop their reliance on these substances. However, this is not the case. All the naltrexone injection will do is prevent the patient from experiencing the high that they have come to associate with using the opioids or alcohol. The patient will still have to choose to stop using these substances of their own accord – especially after they start using the Naltrexone injections. A Naltrexone injection is by no means a one stop addiction treatment solution.
Not to be Combined with Alcohol or Opioids
It is also important for patients to understand that under no circumstances should they be consuming any form of alcohol or drugs while they are using the Naltrexone injection. If any of these substances are consumed while on this medication, it is crucial that a doctor or health care provider be informed immediately. Failure to do so could result in a patient over dosing on drugs or alcohol, which could prove to be fatal. Patients will also need to refrain from consuming alcohol or using opioid drugs for a minimum of 2 weeks before starting to use the Naltrexone injection as part of their treatment plan.
When not to use the Naltrexone Injection
There are some cases where the Naltrexone injection may not be a suitable treatment option for a patient. Patients who are suffering from any form of kidney or liver conditions or disease will not be able to use this medication, as it could result in further damage occurring to these organs.
If a patient experiences nausea, upper abdominal pain, dark urine, light colored stools or jaundice while using the Naltrexone injection, they should not only refrain from using the treatment with immediate effect; they should ensure that they obtain medical attention as soon as possible as well. Patients who are allergic to Naltrexone should also not use this medication.
In cases where a patient is still suffering from alcohol or opioid withdrawal symptoms, they should also not be using a Naltrexone injection as a treatment option. If any forms of buprenorphine or methadone-containing products have been used within the past 2 weeks, patients should also not have the Naltrexone injection administered. Patients who are suffering from any form of bleeding disorders or blood clotting conditions or who are pregnant or breast feeding should also not use this medication, as there is the possibility of it being transferred into breast milk.
Potential Side Effects when Using the Naltrexone Injection
When using the Naltrexone injection, patients may or may not experience one or more side effects. These can include, but may not be limited to irritability, fever, chills, shaking, watery eyes, runny nose, body aches, difficulty sleeping, vomiting, diarrhea and a general feeling of restlessness.
If any form of allergic reactions such as hives, swelling of the face, neck, lips or throat, depression, shallow or weak breathing and severe dizziness are experienced, it’s crucial that the patient contact their health care provider or get to their local emergency room immediately. Other allergic reaction to look out for can include constant coughing, severe pain, swelling or blistering at the site of the injection or abnormal liver function.
When using the Naltrexone injection, it is essential for patients to follow the dosage instructions precisely. Failure to do so could result in the development of irreversible liver or kidney damage. If a patient starts consuming alcohol or using opioids while being given the Naltrexone injection treatment, it is essential that they inform their doctor or health care provider immediately as well.