Naltrexone (current brand name = Revia, formerly marketed as Trexan) is a medication which diminishes the urge to drink which many alcoholics experience when they attempt to stay sober. Following detox, alcoholics who take this medication for a period of six-months are twice as successful at staying sober as those who take a placebo.
This medicine works by blocking the brain's opioid receptors. Alcohol may release endorphins, so blocking the endorphin (opioid) receptors renders drinking less pleasurable. The process of craving itself may involve endorphin release, so that blocking the ability of the endorphins to "do their thing" in the brain (their thing is to produce pleasure) may reduce the cravings.
Another medication, disulfiram (Antabuse), makes people who drink violently ill. Some alcholics who take Antabuse find that it reduces their cravings, because they know that the drinking option has been eliminated. There is more information about both of these medications on my Ask DrSteve web site, which is conveniently hyperlinked below.
Steve Adelman, M.D. (a.k.a. DrSteve)
This information is provided for general medical education purposes only. Please consult your physician for diagnostic and
treatment options pertaining to your specific medical condition.
keywords: alcoholism, naltrexone, disulfiram, craving
Ask DrSteve: The Real Story About Smoking, Drinking & Getting High
Copyright 1994-2017MedHelp International.All rights reserved. MedHelp is a division of Aptus Health.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.