Doctors who treat drug addicts have a new option at their fingertips, thanks to a decision Tuesday by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA gave its blessing to an injectable medicine, Vivitrol, as a treatment for opiate addiction. That's addiction to drugs including heroin as well as powerful prescription painkillers such as OxyContin.
Vivitrol is a time-release version of a drug called naltrexone, which blocks brain receptors from responding to opiates. Without that internal reward, the craving for the drug goes away.
The FDA was able to consider only a single controlled study, conducted in Russia, which found that Vivitrol was 50 percent more effective than a placebo in keeping opidate addicts clean for five months. However, some addiction specialists are already familiar with the drug, which was previously approved as a treatment for alcoholism, and thus available “off-label” for other uses.
"Naltrexone will help you avoid using drugs and alcohol, but it will not prevent or relieve the withdrawal symptoms that may occur when you stop using these substances. Instead, naltrexone may cause or worsen withdrawal symptoms. You should not take naltrexone if you have recently stopped using opioid medications or opioid street drugs and are now experiencing withdrawal symptoms."
So this is really just a blocker such as what is in Suboxone but not subutext. It will not help with withdraws, just to keep you from using after you have already quit.
Naltrexone is not associated with withdrawals as far as I can see. It does nothing for withdrawals or cravings. It's simply a drug that will not allow opiates to hit their receptors. It works on a premise of fear for folks who are addicted to drugs and alcohol.
It's used frequently in hospitals for overdoses and in the OR for opiate reversal. I've used this drug ( I've administered it ). I've also purchased it in the work place. It's NOT expensive. However,the price is jacked up for those who receive it for addiction.
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