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How Long Does Naltrexone Block Alcohol?

Mark Halsey
Chief Editor of - Cleanbreak Recovery

Mark Halsey is a licensed therapist, founder, and chief editor of Clean Break Recovery. With over a decade of addiction treatment experience, Mark deeply understands...Read more

If you’re considering taking naltrexone to help you abstain from alcohol, you may be wondering how long the drug will be effective in blocking the effects of alcohol. In this article, we’ll discuss how long naltrexone can block the effects of alcohol and provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about using this medication.

How Long Does Naltrexone Block Alcohol?

How Long Does Naltrexone Block the Effects of Alcohol?

Naltrexone is a prescription medication used to help people stop drinking alcohol. It works by blocking the body’s opioid receptors, which are involved in the ‘reward system’ that encourages people to keep drinking. Naltrexone can help reduce cravings for alcohol and help people abstain from drinking. But how long does naltrexone block alcohol for?

Naltrexone’s effects can last for up to 24 hours, but it’s important to note that this varies from person to person. Factors like age, body weight, and how much alcohol was consumed can all affect how long naltrexone’s effects last. It’s also important to understand that naltrexone is not a ‘cure-all’ for alcohol addiction and must be taken as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.

How Does Naltrexone Work?

Naltrexone works by blocking the body’s opioid receptors, which are involved in the ‘reward system’ that encourages people to keep drinking. These receptors are found in the brain, and when they are blocked, it reduces the pleasurable effects of alcohol, making it less enjoyable to drink. This in turn can reduce cravings for alcohol and help people abstain from drinking.

Naltrexone is usually taken in pill form, but it can also be administered as an injection or an implant. How long it takes for naltrexone to start working varies depending on the type of administration. For example, the pill form of naltrexone takes about 2 hours to take effect, while the injection form takes around 10 minutes to start working.

What are the Side Effects of Naltrexone?

Naltrexone is generally considered to be a safe drug, but like all medications, it can have some side effects. Common side effects include nausea, dizziness, headache, and drowsiness. It is important to talk to your doctor about any side effects you experience while taking naltrexone, as they may be able to prescribe a different medication or adjust your dosage.

Other, more serious side effects of naltrexone can include liver damage, seizures, and suicidal thoughts. It is important to contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms while taking naltrexone.

What Other Drugs Interact with Naltrexone?

Naltrexone can interact with certain medications and substances, so it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking naltrexone if you are taking any other drugs or supplements. Some drugs that may interact with naltrexone include opioid pain medications, sedatives, and alcohol.

It’s also important to note that naltrexone can increase the effects of alcohol, so it’s important to avoid drinking while taking naltrexone. If you do choose to drink, it’s important to be aware of the potential for increased intoxication.

Can I Take Naltrexone for Long-Term Use?

Naltrexone is generally not recommended for long-term use, as it can have serious side effects if taken for too long. Talk to your doctor about the best course of treatment for you, as they may suggest a different medication or treatment plan that is more suitable for long-term use.

Conclusion

Naltrexone is a prescription medication used to help people stop drinking alcohol. It works by blocking the body’s opioid receptors, which are involved in the ‘reward system’ that encourages people to keep drinking. Generally, the effects of naltrexone last for up to 24 hours, but this can vary from person to person. It is important to talk to your doctor about any side effects you experience while taking naltrexone, as well as any other medications or substances you are taking, as naltrexone can interact with some drugs and substances. Naltrexone is generally not recommended for long-term use, so it’s important to talk to your doctor about the best course of treatment for you.

Related Faq

1. What is Naltrexone?

Naltrexone is an opioid receptor antagonist that is used to treat alcohol and opioid dependence. It works by blocking the effects of opioids, such as those produced by alcohol, and helps to reduce cravings and prevent relapse. Naltrexone is usually taken as a pill or injection, and is sometimes used in combination with other treatments, such as psychotherapy or behavioral therapy.

2. How Long Does Naltrexone Block Alcohol?

Naltrexone will typically block the effects of alcohol for up to 24 hours. This means that if someone has taken naltrexone and then drinks alcohol, they will not experience the effects of the alcohol, such as intoxication or feeling the effects of a “buzz”. It is important to note that this does not mean that a person can drink alcohol safely after taking naltrexone as the drug will not prevent the potential harm that alcohol can cause to the body.

3. How Does Naltrexone Work?

Naltrexone works by blocking the effects of opioids, such as those produced by alcohol. It binds to the same receptors in the brain as alcohol and other drugs, preventing them from having an effect. This can help to reduce cravings and prevent relapse. Additionally, it can help to reduce the amount of pleasure that a person gets from drinking alcohol, which can make it easier to abstain from drinking.

4. Are There Any Side Effects of Using Naltrexone?

Yes, there are some potential side effects associated with using naltrexone. These can include nausea, headache, dizziness, and fatigue. Additionally, more serious side effects such as liver damage, seizures, and allergic reactions have been reported. It is important to speak to a doctor about any potential side effects before taking naltrexone.

5. Is Naltrexone Safe for Everyone?

No, naltrexone is not safe for everyone. It is not recommended for people with certain medical conditions, such as kidney or liver disease, or for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Additionally, it is not recommended for people who are taking certain medications, such as sedatives or hypnotics. It is important to speak to a doctor before taking naltrexone to make sure it is safe and suitable for you.

6. What Should I Do if I Miss a Dose of Naltrexone?

If you miss a dose of naltrexone, it is important to take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose, as this can lead to an overdose. If you are having difficulty remembering to take your doses, speak to your doctor about setting up a reminder system.

What’s it Like to Drink Alcohol on Naltrexone? | The Sinclair Method for Alcohol Addiction

In conclusion, naltrexone is a powerful tool in the fight against alcohol addiction. It has been proven to be effective in reducing alcohol cravings and preventing relapse, and it can block the effects of alcohol for up to 24 hours. While this is a great way to stay sober and make progress in managing alcohol addiction, it is important to remember that no one should attempt to self-medicate with naltrexone without first consulting a physician. With the right guidance, naltrexone can be an extremely effective treatment option to help individuals stay sober and get on the road to recovery.

Mark Halsey is a licensed therapist, founder, and chief editor of Clean Break Recovery. With over a decade of addiction treatment experience, Mark deeply understands the complex needs of those struggling with addiction and utilizes a comprehensive and holistic approach to address them. He is well-versed in traditional and innovative therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and mindfulness-based interventions.

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