FAQ About Naltrexone Therapy (Naltrexone Blocker)

 

• What is Naltrexone Therapy and why is it important?

• Naltrexone is the total opioid antagonist. That is, it attaches to the opiate receptors in the brain and completely blocks them. This means that if someone tries to use any kind of opiate while they are on Naltrexone, they feel no effect because all of the receptors are completely blocked. Naltrexone has been available as an oral tablet since the late 1970s. However, it only has duration of action of around 24 to 48 hours and in practice, it has been found that most patients either forget or purposefully choose not to take their medicine. Then in a short period of time they go back to using heroin. Higher success rates have been achieved when patients are forced to take their medicine, either by concerned family members, or by a court system such as probation or parole. For this reason, we strongly recommend the Naltrexone implant. We believe that Naltrexone therapy should be given for  at least 12 months. This gives the patient a chance to have their brain’s rewarding system physically recover from the damage from the narcotics. It also gives the patient an excellent chance to step on the road to recovery.
 

• What is a substitution therapy?

• An opiate substitution program is a legal opiate drugs (like methadone (heptanon), buprenorphine (subutex, suboxone), morphine-sulfate (substitol, compensan), medical heroin) prescription, under the doctor’s supervision, to the people addicted to heroin. Such patients continue taking legal opioids (synthetic opiates), trying to lower their daily intake, doing their best to have a regular job, to adapt to the normal social life, but still staying drugs users. Unfortunately, the opiate tolerance maintains and an addicted person is often forced to add new heroin dosages, sedatives or some other substances. Then, the addiction becomes only more complicated. Getting detoxified from methadone is much more difficult than from heroin.
Opiate substitutive therapy is not an addiction treatment, but a harm reduction attempt for the benefits of both, the addicted person as well as the society in preventing the illegal drug abuse.
 

• What is the difference between the methadone or other opioid substitutive therapy and Naltrexone maintenance therapy?

• The difference is simple: to take drugs all your life (legal or not) or to protect your abstinence by Naltrexone maintenance and to learn how to enjoy in straight, healthy life.

It’s up to you. When you choose for a comfortable abstinence, we are here to help you.
 

• How does Naltrexone protect from a drug addiction relapse?

• Naltrexone (or ‘heroin blocker’) is a narcotic antagonist; it blocks the effects of heroin (and all other opiates like methadone, suboxone...) by blocking the opiate receptors within the brain. It works by binding to some of the drug receptors in one’s brain, preventing opiates from attaching. If opiates are taken, they simply will have no effect and therefore are a waste of money. In that way, relapse prevention is provided. You have more confidence and there are less cravings compared to unprotected abstinents.

 

• Are there any unwanted side effects of Naltrexone?

• Just like any other medication, Naltrexone has some unwanted side effects. We've noticed tiredness, weakness and dizziness in 3% of patients. Some patients reported abdominal discomfort and slight feeling down. Fortunately these symptoms last less than one day. Therefore, we recommend to take some rest during the first day of the Naltrexone maintenance and to contact your doctor if side affects occur. (Learn more http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a685041.html, http://www.drugs.com/sfx/naltrexone-side-effects.html)

• Are there any potential risks and side effects related to Naltrexone implant?

• There are some potential side effects (less than 10%) with the Naltrexone implant including infection, irritation or inflammation and sometimes even some skin breakdown over the implant site. Luckily, these reactions are very easy to eliminate by antihistaminic and anti inflammation therapy.
The choice of a highly qualified and accurate surgeon allows avoiding some possible complications.

 

How do addicts fight their Naltrexone implants?

• We are not going to advertize all the ways to avoid inspiring new lion hearts. We are only going to say that some don't follow the recommendations to prevent infective and allergic reactions. Others deliberately infect an implant site; they even burn it with an iron and suggest that to their fellowships. The most experienced use different pharmacological tricks. The question is whether it would be much smarter to just ask a doctor to remove the Naltrexone implant?

 

Some addicts report that it's possible to override Naltrexone blocker by taking large opiate dosages. Is that possible?

• Drug users, especially drug dealers share among themselves ways to over win Naltrexone implant. Some study chemistry, pharmacology while others experiment, organize betting and competitions in who'll be the quickest to override an implant. The survivors brag and spread their ways of fight against Naltrexone implant on the internet. It is possible to turn into nothing any kind of treatment and end an abstinence if one wants it strong enough. It can be done at high life risks. They present themselves afterwards as a "hero" or a "victim". It leaves only one question: why did they ask for Naltrexone implant anyway? 

Naltrexone pellets are designed to protect opiate receptors from occasional “accidental” drugs intake, making the addict unreceptive to opiate effect, and heroin intake and similar situation senseless. Naltrexone implants are not designed for systematical fight against of Naltrexone blockade, repeated and persistent attempts to override, melt, use up or neutralize its affects.      

What is an overdose risk following the Naltrexone maintenance?

• Studies show that there have been patients who have died after the periods of abstinence from drugs. This appears to be caused by lack of tolerance following a period of abstinence. Naltrexone is extremely good at helping addicts stay away from drugs, but when the Naltrexone wears off, patients have a very low tolerance to opioids. It is extremely easy for them to use too much heroin or other opiates and have an overdose which can be fatal. Patients need to understand this clearly and be extremely careful if they do relapse back to drug use. It is also may be possible to overdose if one tries to override their Naltrexone therapy.

 

 

Does it ever happen that a person with Naltrexone implant changes their mind and decides to starts using drugs again?

• It's well known that some addicts decide to start using opioids after having Naltrexone fitted. They are trying to override or wear out Naltrexone by checking its strength, and start fighting against Naltrexone blockade. It's a very dangerous behavior as it could end by sudden overdose and even death. A person either relapses, either dies. It's better to not implement Naltrexone for such patients. It's clear that from the reason mentioned, none of the doctors gives any guarantees on Naltrexone maintenance, but provide maximum information on this matter.


What if cravings develop after being in contact with addicts, dealers and other provocative situations?

• If cravings appear, followed by emotional tension, restlessness, urge to use drugs, often only strengthening of Naltrexone blockade (by having additional implant or Naltrexon Depot injection) is enough to help person relax and go back to rehabilitation process. In some other cases, an anti-cravings program might be required.

 

What if patient takes opiate drugs during their Naltrexone maintenance?

Body reaction depends on the opiate drug type, dosage, and individual receptors’ sensitivity at that very moment of his abstinence etc. A patient might not feel any effect of the drug or very weak sensations or get overdosed at high risk for his life.

 

Is it possible to override Naltrexone bocker?

• There are many addicts and drug dealers discussing this subject, sharing their experience, publishing it on the internet. Naltrexone (antagonist) and opiates (agonist) compete for opioid receptors in body. It’s a question of time and quantity, when heroin (or other opioid) will over win and take over part of opioid receptors. But why would one take “antipoison” to be forced to struggle with oneself by taking increasingly dosages of poison? The worst of all is that the attempts of Naltrexone blocker ( Revia pills, implants, Vivitrol injections) override often result by overdose and sudden deaths of opiate addicts. A patient must be warned about this and take full responsibility.     

 

• How do addicts fight their Naltrexone implants?

We are not going to advertize all the ways to avoid inspiring new lion hearts. We are only going to say that some don’t follow the recommendations to prevent infective and allergic reactions. Others deliberately infect an implant site; they even burn it with an iron and suggest that to their fellowships. The question is whether wouldn't it be be much smarter to just ask a doctor to remove the Naltrexone implant?

 

• Are there any risks and side effects after Naltrexone injection? And how to avoid them?

• Naltrexone injection or Vivitrol might cause allergy extremely rarely. An immediate anti allergic therapy neutralizes the allergic reaction.
The professionalism of a medical nurse while giving the intramuscular opioid blocker injection allows avoiding of possible infection.
 

• What is the risk of overdosing following treatment?

• Studies show that there have been patients who have died following periods of abstinence from narcotics. This appears to be caused by lack of tolerance following a period of abstinence. Naltrexone is extremely good at making people abstinent but when the Naltrexone wears off, patients have a very low tolerance. It is extremely easy for them to use too much heroin or other opiates and have an overdose which can be fatal. Patients need to understand this clearly and be extremely careful if they do relapse back to narcotic use. It is also may be possible to overdose if the patients try to override their Naltrexone therapy.


• How long should a patient be on Naltrexone therapy?

• We believe strongly that patients should be on Naltrexone therapy for at least twelve months. This prevents them from relapsing back to narcotic use and gives the patients a chance for their brain rewarding system to recover and to start making changes in their lives.

 

• Does it ever happen that a person with Naltrexone implant changes their mind and decides to starts using drugs again?


• It's well known that some addicts decide to start using opioids after having Naltrexone fitted. They are trying to "override" or "wear out" Naltrexone by checking its strength, and start fighting against Naltrexone blockade. It's a very dangerous behavior as it could end by sudden overdose and even death. A person either relapses, either dies. It's better to not implement Naltrexone for such patients. It's clear that from the reasons mentioned, none of the doctors gives any guarantees on Naltrexone maintenance, but provide maximum information on this matter.

 

• What to do if cravings develop?

• If cravings appear (usually after being in contact with addicts, dealers and other provocative situations), followed by emotional tension, restlessness, urge to use drugs, often only strengthening of Naltrexone blockade (by having additional implant or Naltrexon Depot injection) is enough to help person relax and go back to rehabilitation process. In some other cases, an anti-cravings program might be required.

 

What kind of recommendations must be followed after the Naltrexone pellet insertion?

1. To visit a medical facility for a regular wound dressing and surgical check ups

2. Keep your dressing clean and dry. Do NOT soak in a bath/tub. If you shower, you must cover the wound with plastic to keep dry.

3. Avoid intense physical activity and sports involving the muscles around the implant, do not to carry or lift more then 10 kilos and don't drink alcohol for at least 4 weeks after the implantation

4. To take the stitches out on time (normally on the day 7 after intervention)

5. To visit a doctor and to contact us immediately via ask@refindyourway.com in the case there is slightest doubt about possible complications, Naltrexone processes or any other issues associated to Naltrexone treatment.

 
Does Naltrexone affect liver?

Several studies have shown that the rate of ALT elevations during naltrexone therapy is similar to that with placebo. Most serum aminotransferase elevations during naltrexone therapy are mild and self limiting, resolving even with continuation of therapy.

 

 

 

 

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Do you have more questions?
Email us at ask@refindyourway.com