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All about: Naltrexone hydrochloride

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Generic name: Naltrexone hydrochloride
Brand names: ReVia

Why is Naltrexone hydrochloride prescribed?

ReVia is prescribed to treat alcohol dependence and narcotic addiction. ReVia is not a cure. You must be ready to make a change and be willing to undertake a comprehensive treatment program that includes professional counseling, support groups, and close medical supervision.

Most important fact about Naltrexone hydrochloride

Before taking ReVia for narcotic addiction, you must be drug-free for at least 7 to 10 days. You must also be free of any drug withdrawal symptoms. If you think you are still in withdrawal, be sure to tell your doctor, since taking ReVia while narcotics are still in your system could cause serious physical problems. Your doctor will perform tests to confirm your drug-free condition.

How should you take Naltrexone hydrochloride?

It is important to take ReVia on schedule as directed by your doctor, and to follow through with your counseling and support group therapy.

If you take small doses of heroin or other narcotic drugs while taking ReVia, they will have no effect. Large doses combined with ReVia can be fatal.

--If you miss a dose...

Take the missed dose as soon as possible. If you do not remember until the next day, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

--Storage instructions...

No special measures are needed.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any side effects develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor immediately. Only your doctor can determine whether it is safe for you to continue taking ReVia.

  • Side effects of treatment for alcoholism may include:
    Dizziness, fatigue, headache, nausea, nervousness, sleeplessness, vomiting
  • Side effects of treatment for narcotic addiction may include:
    Abdominal pain/cramps, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, headache, joint and muscle pain, low energy, nausea and/or vomiting, nervousness

Why should Naltrexone hydrochloride not be prescribed?

If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to ReVia, you should not take it. If you have acute hepatitis (liver disease) or liver failure, do not start therapy with ReVia. Remember, too, that you must be narcotic-free before beginning ReVia therapy.

Special warnings about Naltrexone hydrochloride

Since ReVia may cause liver damage when taken at high doses, if you develop symptoms that signal possible liver problems, you should stop taking ReVia immediately and see your doctor as soon as possible. These symptoms include abdominal pain lasting more than a few days, white bowel movements, dark urine, or yellowing of your eyes. Your doctor may periodically test your liver function while you are on ReVia therapy. Caution is also advisable if you have kidney problems.

If you are narcotic-dependent and accidentally take ReVia, you may experience severe withdrawal symptoms lasting up to 48 hours, including confusion, sleepiness, hallucinations, vomiting, and diarrhea. If this occurs, seek help immediately.

Do not attempt to use narcotics while taking ReVia. Small doses will have no effect, and large doses could lead to coma or even death.

Ask your doctor to give you a ReVia medication card to alert medical personnel that you are taking ReVia in case of an emergency. Carry this card with you at all times. If you do require medical treatment, be sure to tell the doctor that you are taking ReVia. You should also tell your dentist and pharmacist that you are taking ReVia.

The safety of ReVia in children under 18 years of age has not been established.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Naltrexone hydrochloride

Since studies to evaluate the interaction of ReVia with drugs other than narcotics have not been performed, do not take any medications, either over-the-counter or prescription, without first notifying your doctor.

Do not use Antabuse while you are taking ReVia; both drugs can damage your liver.

Do not take Mellaril (a drug used to treat depression and anxiety) while on ReVia therapy, as the combination may make you feel very sleepy and sluggish.

While taking ReVia avoid medicines that contain narcotics, including cough and cold preparations, such as Actifed-C, Ryna-C, and Dimetane-DC; antidiarrheal medications such as Lomotil; and narcotic painkillers such as Percodan, Tylox, and Tylenol No. 3.

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

The effects of ReVia during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant, tell your doctor immediately. ReVia should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed. ReVia may appear in breast milk. If Naltrexone hydrochloride is essential to your health, your doctor may tell you to discontinue breastfeeding your baby until your treatment with ReVia is finished.

Recommended dosage

ALCOHOLISM

The usual starting dose is 50 milligrams once a day.

NARCOTIC DEPENDENCE

The usual starting dose is 25 milligrams once a day. If no withdrawal symptoms occur, the doctor may increase the dosage to 50 milligrams a day.

Overdosage

Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose of ReVia, seek medical attention immediately.

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