Naltrexone is the generic version of a prescription medication known as Vivitrol. Vivitrol is the brand name version that more people will recognize. Naltrexone is used in order to help people who suffer from different degrees of substance abuse. The substance abuse can include things such as being addicted to drinking, being addicted to opioid pain medications, being hooked on other substances such as muscle relaxers. All of these substances if used to a high degree can cause long term health problems and even put a person in a position where their lives are on the line.
Giving up different substances is hard to do alone, and this is why sometimes medication is needed in order to help people combat the urge.
Are there other forms of this medication available to be used for different purposes?
There are indeed different versions of Naltrexone available out there. With some of these different forms, they can help to treat things such as tobacco addiction as well as specific developmental disorders like autism. It can also help people who suffer from impulse control problems.
An example of an impulse control problem would be someone who has a hard time staying away from gambling or who has to go shopping all the time. Impulse control problems might not always involve substance abuse, but the effects it can have on a person’s personal life are all the same.
Can this prescription drug medication be used alone in order to help people to deal with and get over different addiction problems?
Understand that a drug such as Naltrexone isn’t designed to offer a complete solution to addiction problems. Addiction problems run deep on many levels and in order for a person to fully regain control over their lives, then they’ll need to be focused on a more complete treatment program. Complete treatment is going to include lifestyle chances, many of which will require willpower to do, counseling from someone who knows how to help addiction cases, as well as different forms of support.
Are there any other uses this medication has or are treating addiction problems the one and only use?
Naltrexone can be used in order to treat other conditions, but understand with treating these other conditions the drug must be used in low doses. When used in low doses it can lower the severity of symptoms in conditions such as fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, complex regional pain syndrome, as well as other chronic pain disorders. Understand though that these are all uses that are off label.
What class of medications does Naltrexone belong to and how does this class of medication work?
Naltrexone belongs to a class of medications called opiate antagonists. The way these work is they block out the effect of different narcotic drugs. You can find these available in tablet form or injection form.
What are some of the possible side effects you put yourself at risk for as a result of using this prescription medication?
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation
Stomach pain or cramping
Loss of appetite
Nervousness, irritability, or anxiety
Increased or decreased energy
Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
Muscle or joint pain
Mild discomfort at injection site (injectable form)
What are some of the more serious side effects a person might be at risk for if they use this prescription medication?
Signs of an allergic reaction (rash; hives; itching; breathing difficulties; chest tightness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue)
Blurred vision or eye problems
Cough, wheezing, or breathing troubles
Severe vomiting or diarrhea
Be sure to contact a doctor or go to the emergency room if you experience any of the more serious side effects, especially if they are severe.