Revia (Naltrexone) Uses
This medication is used to prevent people who have been addicted to certain drugs (opiates) from taking them again. It is used as part of a complete treatment program for drug abuse (e.g., compliance monitoring, counseling, behavioral contract, lifestyle changes). This medication must not be used in people currently taking opiates, including methadone. Doing so can cause sudden withdrawal symptoms.
Naltrexone belongs to a class of drugs known as opiate antagonists. It works in the brain to prevent opiate effects (e.g., feelings of well-being, pain relief). It also decreases the desire to take opiates.
This medication is also used to treat alcohol abuse. It can help people drink less alcohol or stop drinking altogether. It also decreases the desire to drink alcohol when used with a treatment program that includes counseling, support, and lifestyle changes.
How to use Revia (Naltrexone)
Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually 50 milligrams once daily or as directed by your doctor. This medication may be given as part of a program where a health care professional will watch you take the medication. In this case, your doctor may order a higher dose (100-150 milligrams) to be taken every 2-3 days to make it easier to schedule clinic visits. Naltrexone may be taken with food or antacids if stomach upset occurs.
A urine test should be done to check for recent opiate drug use. Your doctor may give you another medication (naloxone challenge test) to check for opiate use. Do not use any opiates for at least 7 days before starting naltrexone. You may need to stop certain opiate drugs (such as methadone) 10 to 14 days before starting naltrexone.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Your doctor may start you at a lower dose and monitor you for any side effects or withdrawal symptoms before increasing your dose. Take this medication as directed. Do not increase your dose, take it more often, or stop taking it without your doctor’s approval.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.
Tell your doctor if you start using drugs or alcohol again.
Nausea, headache, dizziness, anxiety, tiredness, and trouble sleeping may occur. In a small number of people, mild opiate withdrawal symptoms may occur, including abdominal cramps, restlessness, bone/joint pain, muscle aches, and runny nose. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Sudden opiate withdrawal symptoms can occur within minutes after taking naltrexone. Tell your doctor right away if any of these withdrawal symptoms occur: abdominal cramps, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, joint/bone/muscle aches, mental/mood changes (e.g., anxiety, confusion, extreme sleepiness, visual hallucinations), runny nose.
Naltrexone has rarely caused serious liver disease. The risk is increased when larger doses are used. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Stop using this medication and tell your doctor right away if you develop symptoms of liver disease, including: persistent nausea/vomiting, severe stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Before taking naltrexone, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: current or recent use (in the last 7 to 14 days) of any type of opioid drug (such as morphine, methadone, buprenorphine), kidney disease, liver disease.
You should carry or wear medical identification stating that you are taking this drug so that appropriate treatment can be given in a medical emergency.
This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
After stopping naltrexone treatment, you may be more sensitive to lower doses of opioids, increasing your risk of possibly life-threatening side effects from the opioid (e.g., decreased breathing, loss of consciousness).
This medication blocks the effects of opiate drugs (including heroin) and similar drugs (opioids). However, large doses of heroin or opioids can overcome this block. Trying to overcome this block is very dangerous and may cause serious injury, loss of consciousness, and death. Make sure you completely understand and accept the risks and benefits of using this medication. Follow your doctor’s instructions closely.
Before having surgery or any medical treatment, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
This drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor’s approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: dextromethorphan, diarrhea medication (such as diphenoxylate), disulfiram, opioid pain or cough relievers (such as codeine, hydrocodone), thioridazine.
This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including drug tests), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., liver function tests) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company
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Revia or generic Naltrexone is prescribed in the treatment of drug and alcohol abuse. Naltrexone can be recommended to take along with counseling and support to help people who have stopped drinking alcohol and using drugs continue to avoid drinking or narcotics. Once you have completed your detoxification, your doctor can begin treating you with Revia. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
How Revia Works
When taken as instructed, Revia will work to block endorphins from binding to opioid receptors in order to trigger the release of a neurotransmitter called dopamine. This brain chemical is responsible for the ‘feel good feeling’ you experience when you consume alcohol or certain drugs. The more liquor or medications you take, the more dopamine receptors you will have and the addicted you become. When you stop drinking or taking drugs, the number of dopamine receptors will decrease and your cravings with it.
Conditions Treated by Revia
If you are dealing with alcoholism, your doctor may prescribe Naltrexone. Alcohol dependence is a condition marked by consumption of alcoholic beverages at a level that interferes with physical or mental health, and social, family, or work-related responsibilities. Revia can reduce the desire to drink and helps patients remain abstinent. It can also interfere with the tendency to want to drink more if a recovering patient slips and has a drink.
Drug addiction may occur with prolonged use of Rx painkillers causing nerve damage in your brain. Revia can actually help to reverse the effects opiate drugs have had on your brain and restore it to a pre-addictive state. Naltrexone is not addictive and should be taken under the guidance of an aftercare specialist. Along with counselling, your addiction can be understood better and you’ll be given the means to live a drug-free existence as a productive individual.
Before Revia Will be Prescribed
Revia or generic Naltrexone will not be prescribed to treat people who are still using drugs or consuming large amounts of alcohol. You must be opioid-free for at least 7-10 days or undergone detox at a facility before your physician will start treatment with Revia. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are breast feeding as Revia may be harmful to an unborn or nursing baby.
What You Need to Know When Taking Revia
Revia will help you avoid drugs and alcohol only for as long as you are taking it, but it does not decrease or eliminate symptoms of withdrawal. You should not stop taking Revia without talking to your doctor. Always store medications out of children’s reach and never share them with others. Until you know how your body will react to taking Revia, avoid any activities that require you to be alert.
Possible Side Effects of Revia
• Loss of appetite
• Problems sleeping
• Joint or muscle pain
• Feeling anxious or irritable
• Stomach cramping or pain
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