I had a naltrexone implant after my detox a little over a year ago. I suffered from severe anxiety the entire time I had the implant - once the implant dissolved, the anxiety went away as quick as it came on. I read some information on the web about depression and anxiety and some of the literature says that up to 15% of people suffer this side effect. If you have an implant and have any questions, feel free to ask, I am happy to share anything with regards to my experience.
Naltrexone is an opiate blocker. It will fill the opiate receptors on the brain so if an opiate is taken - like heroin or vicodin, the Naltrexone will block the opiate so no high will result. It is similar to Narcan, which is used by paramedics to reverse an opiate overdose. Naltrexone implants are still considered "experimental" by the FDA, but many detox centers and rapid detox places use them following the detox as a preventative measure against relapse. Naltrexone is also available via pill form, but for an addict, it's easy to just not take the pill and relapse - that's why the implant is so good - it releases a constant stream of the medication and lasts for about 6 - 8 weeks. There are some new naltrexone implants on the market that supposedly last twice as long. Most detox docs recommend getting implants for at least a year so the addict has time to change behavior and since there is no reward if one relapses, the incentive to use is much less. The implant works well, but some people will get side effects of depression and anxiety - although when I talked to my doctor about it, he said he had not had any patients yet with anxiety. Could have been another cause, but I am pretty sure it was the naltrexone. I am one of the lucky ones, I have not had any trouble staying clean - I guess 20 some years of drug abuse - I had finally had enough.
Sal, thanks for the info, I would like to see something like that for methamphetamine addicts I see so very many people struggle and lose that battle it holds a special place in my heart as it is also my battle and doc. So why would someone who is an opiate addict take suboxone it this implant is available ?
Suboxone is an opiate and keeps people from going into withdrawal. Naltrexone is used after withdrawal - if one was to use naltrexone while still using opiates, it would put them into immediate withdrawal. Know how it goes too with meth - I was a meth addict in the late 80's - went through rehab for meth when I turned 21. Nasty stuff. been clean from meth for over 20 years - thank God,using it nearly killed me.
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