Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN) has gained traction for its potential benefits in managing various conditions. To maximize its therapeutic effects and minimize potential risks, it’s essential to understand and avoid certain substances and behaviors while on LDN. If you want to get the most out of treatment, you’ll need to understand how Naltrexone works and what drugs you should avoid while taking it. It’s an acceptable option for treating alcohol use disorder and occasionally opioid use disorder. It should never be taken if you are currently using opioids since it could accelerate the withdrawal effects.
What is Naltrexone Used For?
As part of Medication for Addiction Treatment (MAT), the drug naltrexone, which is available as a tablet or injection, is used to treat alcohol and opioid use disorder. Naltrexone is neither an opioid nor it is addictive. It was effective as an opioid antagonist, preventing the pleasurable and sedative effects of opioids.
In the case of an alcohol use disorder, naltrexone works by remaining in the body such that if you take an opioid, you won’t get “high” from it and will have a far lower probability of overdosing. Naltrexone helps patients avoid an overdose and avoids the benefits of getting high in this way.
It is less clear how Naltrexone treats alcohol consumption disorder. Most specialists believe that Naltrexone, an opioid antagonist, operates on the brain’s reward centers, gradually reducing patients’ cravings and desire to consume alcohol. It has been demonstrated that doing so helps AUD sufferers drink less and less frequently.
What to Avoid When Taking Low Dose Naltrexone?
You should avoid consuming the following drugs when using Naltrexone:
Always consult your doctor before combining Naltrexone with any opioid medication. Opioid painkillers such as oxycodone, vicodin, hydromorphone, Dilaudid, morphine, methadone, and codeine should be avoided when on Naltrexone. This is because of the risk of precipitated withdrawal, which can happen when Naltrexone is taken too soon after using an opioid, leading to a sudden withdrawal syndrome. While Naltrexone is generally safe with non-opioid medications, it’s important to discuss with your doctor if you’re taking drugs that affect your liver.
Taking Naltrexone with any illegal narcotics, such as heroin or fentanyl, might result in the same issues of triggered withdrawal as described above, much like with opioid prescriptions. Some people use more medications than normal to counteract the side effects of Naltrexone. This is extremely risky and could result in a fatal overdose. Speak to your doctor if you are taking in addition to your Naltrexone. To assist you in staying away from using again, they can help you change your dose or put you in touch with additional options.
Naltrexone can mitigate the effect of alcohol, which also reduces urges and appetite for alcohol altogether. There are several myths about drinking while taking Naltrexone. First, realize that drinking is safe while taking Naltrexone. Naltrexone may slow down the euphoric effects, so you might not feel “drunk” as rapidly as you are used to, but you won’t hurt yourself if you do. The purpose of Naltrexone therapy is to persuade patients to drink less in general gradually. You won’t encounter any harmful health impacts if you drink after taking Naltrexone.
Patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) or alcohol use disorder may be treated with Naltrexone, a pure opiate antagonist, in combination with a behavioral therapy program under the direction of a physician. While using Naltrexone, do not use opiates, such as heroin or other illicit or prescribed opiates. Your risk of overdose, coma, and death rises if you use opiates along with Naltrexone. If you are addicted to opioids or are going through opioid withdrawal symptoms, avoid using Naltrexone. Before you finish a medically controlled opioid withdrawal lasting at least 7 to 14 days, you shouldn’t use Naltrexone.