Is naltrexone an opioid blocker?
Yes it is. Naltrexone is a non-opioid medicine that strongly blocks opioid receptors. It is non-controlled and can be prescribed by any doctor or healthcare provider who can prescribe medications.
How much does naltrexone cost?
As discussed on a recent naltrexone podcast episode, naltrexone is not too expensive. It is typically about $30 for a one month supply of generic tablets. It is also possible to get customized naltrexone products from compounding pharmacies. This can be useful when a doctor prescribes low dose naltrexone therapy (LDN).
What is Low Dose Naltrexone?
The standard dosage of naltrexone is 50mg. A 50mg tablet can be taken daily for conditions such as alcohol use disorder and opioid use disorder. Naltrexone is also used for a variety of other medical conditions. It has been used for fibromyalgia-related pain and even for obesity. For these alternate uses, it is usually prescribed in low doses, in the range of 2mg-5mg daily. This is known as LDN or low dose naltrexone. As discussed on one well-known naltrexone podcast, a compounding pharmacy in Jacksonville, Florida is producing a wide variety of naltrexone compound products to meet the needs of patients who are prescribed LDN.
What is the Sinclair Method?
Dr. John David Sinclair came up with the idea that naltrexone could be used to help alcoholics reduce their drinking. Naltrexone has been known to help reduce cravings for alcohol in alcoholics for many years. The difference with the Sinclair Method is that the alcoholic is supposed to reduce drinking while taking the medication, but not stop completely. Dr. Sinclair’s method is controversial. Claudia Christian, a famous actress, has worked hard in publicizing the Sinclair Method. Various naltrexone podcasts have featured it as well. Even if you do not agree with the Sinclair Method, it is helpful that it brings attention to the use of naltrexone for curbing cravings in alcoholics.
How can naltrexone help opioid-addicted people?
Naltrexone can reduce cravings for opiates and opioids by blocking the opioid receptors. Additionally, if a person on naltrexone relapses on an opioid, they will be less likely to feel the effects of it. Naltrexone is an effective treatment for opioid addiction and has a success rate similar to Suboxone. It can be used as part of a medication-assisted treatment program.
If I take naltrexone, am I clean and sober?
This is a good question. Naltrexone is not an opioid. It is not mind or mood-altering. If you are a recovering alcoholic and you no longer drink, but you do take naltrexone, you are sober without any doubt. The same goes for opioid addiction treatment. While patients who take methadone or Suboxone under the care of a doctor for opioid use disorder should also consider themselves to be clean and in recovery, naltrexone leaves no doubts by anyone’s standards. As you may have heard one guest state on naltrexone podcasts which have interviewed him, naltrexone is no more intoxicating than an aspirin.
What is Vivitrol?
Vivitrol is a monthly injectable form of naltrexone. The advantages of Vivitrol are that there is no doubt that the patient is getting their medication throughout the month. This is good for loved-ones and healthcare workers who are concerned that a patient may not take his or her naltrexone tablet each day. One naltrexone podcast host once described Vivitrol as a “chemical leash” for mothers to feel better that their sons or daughters are safe. To some extent, this is a false sense of security, though naltrexone does increase a person’s chance of success to stay clean and sober from opioids and alcohol. A big downside to Vivitrol is the price. At well over $1000, patients depend on health insurance to cover the cost. It is important to keep in mind that naltrexone tablets also work and if a patient is not able to obtain their Vivitrol shot, they should consider the generic tablets as being better than simply quitting naltrexone altogether.
We must spread the word about naltrexone.
Decades ago, naltrexone was strongly recommended as an important part of drug and alcohol treatment. It is safe and effective. Now, that it is an older generic medicine, it has been forgotten by many doctors and addiction treatment centers. We must all do our part to remind the rehab community about this excellent treatment for alcoholism and opioid addiction. It would help greatly if there were more naltrexone podcasts out there to help spread the word about this life-saving medication.