Author: John Carter

What happens if you drink alcohol while taking naltrexone?

can you drink on naltrexone

Healthcare providers should tailor the length of treatment to individual patients. Naltrexone has been administered to patients who are alcohol dependent for 6 months to 1 year with no additional safety concerns (Balldin et al., 2003; O’Malley et al., 2003). Naltrexone is contraindicated in acute hepatitis or liver failure, and its use in patients with active liver disease must be carefully considered in light of its hepatotoxic effects. Naltrexone was first synthesized in 1963 by Endo Laboratories, which was acquired by DuPont in 1969. Naltrexone was initially developed to treat addiction to opioids and was approved by the U.S.

  1. Non-opiate based anesthetics should be used if you require an anesthetic in an emergency situation.
  2. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
  3. Short-term naltrexone treatment was also linked with a lower percentage of drinking days, fewer drinks per drinking day, longer times to relapse, more days of abstinence, and lower total alcohol consumption during treatment.
  4. The long-acting properties of naltrexone are due primarily to 6-β-naltrexol, which has an elimination half-life of 13 hours.

Tell your family members, friends or other people close to you that you are taking naltrexone. They should call a doctor right away if you become depressed or experience symptoms of depression. Medicines that interact with naltrexone may either decrease its effect, affect how long it works, increase side effects, or have less of an effect when taken with naltrexone. An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of the medications; however, sometimes it does. Speak to your doctor about how drug interactions should be managed.


Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. See the full prescribing information for further details about naltrexone dosing. Do not drive a car, operate machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how this medication affects you. Keep this in mind if you reach for a drink while taking naltrexone. Do not drive, operate heavy machinery or perform any dangerous activities until you know how naltrexone will affect you. Naltrexone may cause dizziness and drowsiness and affect your ability to drive or operate machinery.

Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully. Naltrexone is used to help narcotic dependents who have stopped taking narcotics to stay drug-free. It is used as part of an overall program that may include counseling, attending support group meetings, and other treatment recommended by your doctor. Tell your doctor if you have a history of depression, attempted suicide, or other mental health disorders before you start treatment.

can you drink on naltrexone

It is not known if naltrexone passes into your milk when it is administered by IM injection, and it is not known if it can harm your baby. Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you will breastfeed or take this medication. Keep a list of them to show your healthcare provider and pharmacist when you get a new medicine. We understand that finding the right approach to change your drinking habits can be challenging, and we’re here to connect you to expert clinicians to guide you along the way. At Monument, you can connect with a physician online to discuss if medication to stop drinking is right for your recovery journey, and get ongoing care. In contrast, another medication used to treat alcohol use disorder, disulfiram, increases alcohol sensitivity when consumed.

In general, oral naltrexone is absorbed well by the body, making it very effective for most people who take it. Once you take naltrexone, the medication reaches its maximum effect in about one hour, so it begins working very quickly. If you don’t experience the naltrexone benefits immediately, don’t get discouraged. You can discuss your experience with your healthcare provider, and they can provide suggestions to improve results. While naltrexone therapy can be effective alone, many people see the greatest benefit when combining medication assisted treatment with counseling and behavioral therapies.

Exhibit 4-6 Signs and Symptoms of Liver Disease

Those with prior liver issues should consult their doctor before taking naltrexone. Drinking while on naltrexone is unlikely to make you feel the same level of intoxication or ‘buzz’ you experience when drinking without it. Lab and/or medical tests (such as liver function) should be done while you are taking this medication. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of addiction to drugs such as heroin, morphine, and oxycodone in 1984. DuPont branded naltrexone as Trexan® and promoted it for the treatment of opioid addiction. Avoid drinking alcohol or taking illegal or recreational drugs while taking naltrexone. Never share this medicine with anyone else, especially someone who is using narcotics. Naltrexone causes withdrawal symptoms in people who are using narcotics. Always use a non-narcotic medicine to treat pain, diarrhea, or a cough.

Do not drive or perform any kind of hazardous tasks if naltrexone causes you any dizziness or other dangerous side effects.

How Does Taking Naltrexone Make You Feel?

Patients should be warned of the risk of hepatic injury and advised to stop the use of naltrexone and seek medical attention if they experience symptoms of acute hepatitis. Do not try to overcome the effects of naltrexone by taking narcotics. You may be more sensitive to the effects of narcotics than you were before beginning naltrexone therapy.

The average duration of medication assisted treatment varies by individual. You and your doctor will discuss a timeline that makes sense for you, and this can change over time. That said, most people take naltrexone for at least 12 weeks, and many physicians recommend taking naltrexone for 12 months or more. It’s important to remember that naltrexone is neither a quick fix nor a miracle pill, and can take time and the support of other tools to reach its maximum effectiveness.

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding. No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of naltrexone in geriatric patients. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist. Carry written information with you at all times to alert healthcare providers that you are taking this medication so that they can treat you properly in an emergency. Ask your healthcare provider how you can get a wallet card to carry with you.

If you have any questions about the proper medicine to use, check with your doctor. The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so. Tell your doctor of any recent use of opioids or any history of opioid dependence before starting naltrexone.

This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Data sources include Micromedex (updated 3 Mar 2024), Cerner Multum™ (updated 4 Mar 2024), ASHP (updated 12 Feb 2024) and others. This medicine blocks the “high” feeling you get from narcotic (opioid) drugs, including heroin. Since naltrexone may make you more sensitive to lower doses of opioids than you have previously used, you should not use heroin or any other narcotic drugs to overcome what the medicine is doing. Acamprosate and naltrexone are two different medications that are used in the treatment of alcohol use disorder.