Naltrexone is used to treat lasting symptoms of withdrawal from opiate addiction and has proven effective for recovery from alcohol addiction. These symptoms are typically found in recovering addicts with a lengthy history of use or a history of excessive substance intake. Naltrexone is not used to treat the early stages of withdrawal for either substance. Recovering opiate abusers must be free of opiate use for seven to ten days before the first dose of Naltrexone can be administered. Alcoholics require a minimum of five days without alcohol consumption. The primary care physician will run several blood and urine tests to assure the opiate and alcohol levels are in line with these requirements. If it is determined that the prescribed patient is within allowable limits, treatment will begin immediately. Dosage is dependent on individual cases. Naltrexone may be taken as frequently as every day or only a few times a week.
Symptoms of Detox and Withdrawal of Opiates
It is important to note that, though detox and withdrawal of opiates is unpleasant it is not life-threatening if not combined with withdrawal from additional substances. Initial symptoms last anywhere from one week to one month and include:
anxiety, irritability, and agitation
Sinus problems such as runny nose and tearfulness
Hot flashes and cold sweats
Abdominal cramps with nausea, vomiting, and nausea
Additional, longer lasting but less severe symptoms known as post-acute withdrawal include:
Anxiety and irritability
Fluctuating energy levels
Disturbed sleep pattern
Symptoms of Detox and Withdrawal of Alcohol
Withdrawal from alcohol abuse is significantly more dangerous, as it is potentially deadly. It is never recommended that anyone attempt to detox from alcohol dependency alone or without medical assistance as this can lead to lethal changes in the brain’s chemistry, cause life-threatening damage to the liver and kidneys, and compromise the heart. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:
Anxiety, insomnia, and irritability
Tightness in the chest
Nausea and vomiting
More severe reactions to alcohol withdrawal can lead to serious medical conditions. Patients may experience seizures and develop heart defects and permanent damage to the liver and kidney requiring surgical correction or transplants. Heart attacks, delirium tremens, and strokes can occur with more severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
Prevent These Symptoms of Withdrawal and Detoxification With Naltrexone
By using an opiate antagonist like Naltrexone, people in the detoxification stages of recovery can focus on the root causes of their addiction rather than suffering the ramifications. Naltrexone negates cravings for alcohol and opiates as well as satisfying whatever lingering physical needs they may be experiencing. Because it is blocking the opioid receptors throughout the nervous system, the body does not recognize any lack of the addictive substance. This allows the prescribed user to devote their attention to therapies provided at a rehabilitation facility and planning future steps in their quest toward sober living. Naltrexone also does not promote the formation of new addiction like some replacement therapies containing opioids. Rather than relying on legalized opioids for an undetermined time, Naltrexone users typically end treatment after three months with no lasting effects or cravings.
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