Naltrexone is used to help narcotic dependents who have stopped taking narcotics to stay drug-free, and for alcoholics to stay alcohol-free. The medicine is not a cure for addiction. Instead, it is used as part of an overall program that may include counseling, attending support group meetings, and other treatment recommended by your doctor.
It works by blocking the effects of narcotics, especially the “high” feeling that makes you want to use them. At the same time, it may block the “high” feeling that may make you want to use alcohol. It will not produce any narcotic-like effects or cause mental or physical dependence, nor will it prevent you from becoming impaired while drinking alcohol.
Naltrexone treatment is started after you are no longer dependent on narcotics.
Will I be needing routine laboratory workups when I’ll be treated with naltrexone?
Naltrexone could have adverse effects to a person’s liver. So even before starting this, blood test will be done to ensure that the liver is functioning well enough to tolerate the medication. Routine testing will generally then be done every month for the first 3 months, afterwhich, frequency will be reduced. However, depending on the status of your liver, frequency of blood tests may still be increased.
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