09 Nov Low Dose Naltrexone Side Effects
What is Low Dose Naltrexone?
Low dose Naltrexone is a medication and opioid blocker that is used to treat an opioid addiction. It helps by reducing the side effects of how you feel when you use an opioid, which are used to treat moderate to severe pain relief and cause relaxation. It is an injectable substance that is usually used during treatment for alcohol or drug dependence.
Naltrexone at a low dose can be used in patients who have become dependent on an opioid medicine and cannot stop taking it. It helps with preventing relapse and lessening the “need” or craving to use. It can also be used to treat alcoholism by reducing the urge you have to drink. It can help you to stop drinking altogether or allow you to drink less.
This drug is believed to be effective in treating chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune or inflammatory diseases, and Crohn’s disease.
How is Naltrexone Used?
To get the most benefit from low dose Naltrexone it’s important to use it regularly. Typically, for the best outcome, it is given once a month or every 4 weeks and should only be given by a medical professional or doctor.
As part of treatment, there should be additional addiction rehab methods used in conjunction with Naltrexone including counseling, monitoring, and other alternative strategies to treat the substance abuse problem.
If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid or alcohol addiction, reach out to one of the caring coordinators at Inland Detox. Our comprehensive drug and alcohol detox treatment program can help to address the underlying issues behind you or a loved one’s addiction problem.
Dosage of Naltrexone?
The best way to determine the appropriate treatment dosage of low dose Naltrexone is to visit your doctor or physician and to be prescribed the medication. This will allow you to find the proper dose for whatever your condition is and ensure you are safe during your treatment.
“Low-dose naltrexone (LDN), considered in a daily dose of 1 to 5 mg, has been shown to reduce glial inflammatory response by modulating Toll-like receptor 4 signaling in addition to systemically upregulating endogenous opioid signaling by transient opioid-receptor blockade. Clinical reports of LDN have demonstrated possible benefits in diseases such as fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, complex-regional pain syndrome, Hailey-Hailey disease, and cancer.” (Toljan and Vrooman, 2018).
If you have questions about the proper dosage of Naltrexone that is best for you during your treatment, contact Inland Detox for more information.
How does Low Dose Naltrexone Work for Chronic Pain in Patients?
There is not a definite answer to how LDN works and the mechanism of how it acts in the body. There has been some research that shows that it changes receptors in the brain and blocks them which in turn can help with symptoms from fibromyalgia, fatigue, cancer, or other chronic pain related illnesses.
Another study indicated that low dose Naltrexone works as an anti-inflammatory in the peripheral and central nervous system and may limit the activity of specific cells in the brain called microglia. This helps to normalize the immune system, which helps patients with compromised immunity or other auto-immune illnesses.
Safety and Effectiveness
You should not begin taking low dose Naltrexone if you are still taking opioids, have had a drink of alcohol, or have experienced withdrawal symptoms from your substance abuse. The effectiveness of the drug can be changed if it is not taken under the proper circumstances.
If you or a loved one have experienced any of the listed health conditions or risk factors below, it’s important to contact your doctor before taking this drug.
- A bleeding or blood-clotting disorder such as hemophilia.
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Pregnant or breastfeeding
- You are having withdrawal symptoms from drug or alcohol addiction
- You have used methadone, or buprenorphine (Butrans, Subutex, Suboxone, Zubsolv) in the past 14 days.
- You have used any opioid medicine within the past 10 days (including fentanyl, Vicodin, OxyContin, and many others)
Side Effects and Risks
The most common adverse effects of Naltrexone are included in the list below:
- Pain, swelling, or itching where the injection was given
- Stuffy nose, tooth pain
- Nausea, vomiting, changes in appetite
- Sleep problems (insomnia)
- Abnormal liver function tests
- Muscle cramps
- Dizziness, drowsiness
If you notice any signs or symptoms that you may have an allergy or you are experiencing a serious reaction to Naltrexone, it’s important to contact a doctor right away. If you take Naltrexone while continuing to use opioids, it could result in opioid withdrawal symptoms that include sweating, shaking, chills, irritability, yawning, fever, diarrhea, vomiting, runny nose, goose bumps, runny nose, trouble sleeping, body aches, and feeling restless.
Substance Abuse Addiction
Addiction to a substance including drugs or alcohol can be chronic if the right help is not available. It can be described as a difficulty with control of a substance that includes compulsion and a hard time stopping, despite the negative consequences that can happen while using drugs or alcohol.
Signs of Addiction
- Failing in your attempts to stop using the drug
- Feeling that you must use the drug regularly — daily or even several times a day
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you attempt to stop taking the drug
- Spending a good deal of time getting the drug, using the drug, or recovering from the side effects of the drug
- Driving or doing other risky activities when you’re under the influence of the drug
- Not meeting obligations and work responsibilities, or cutting back on social or recreational activities because of drug use
- Having intense urges for the drug that block out any other thoughts
- Over time, needing more of the drug to get the same effect
- Continuing to use the drug, even though you know it’s causing problems in your life or causing you physical or psychological harm
- Taking larger amounts of the drug over a longer period than you intended
- Making certain that you maintain a supply of the drug
Addiction Treatment at Inland Detox
Prescription drug addiction is a complex and complicated problem, that should be treated in a comfortable, relaxing environment with experienced staff to be there to support you with multiple levels of care. Our highly trained clinicians and counselors can help clients begin to recover from their addiction and begin to feel like they have their life back. Our house is limited to only six clients, ensuring that you receive individualized attention the whole time you’re in treatment.
Inland Detox is prepared to treat most all forms of prescription medication addiction in a safe, secluded, and upscale environment. We offer many alternative forms of treatment that are different than the traditional methods you may refer to. Our primary goals are accurate, high-quality client assessment, reduction of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms and carefully coordinated exit planning.
First Steps in Treatment
Before you begin treatment for any sort of substance abuse problem, you will need to be medically reviewed and assessed to determine the extent of the problem and what the best mode of treatment is. Our team at Inland Detox has many resources that will help you during your recovery at our program.
If you or someone you know is addicted to prescription medication and you are looking for help or would like more information about our detox program, call Inland Detox at (888) 739-8296 today.
Toljan K. and Vrooman, B. (2018, Sept 21). U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health. Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN)—Review of Therapeutic Utilization.