April 28, 2022

What is naltrexone?

Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist, typically used to help patients with opioid use disorder or alcohol use disorder. It works by blocking opioid receptors. This blocks the euphoric and sedative effects of opioids, as well as cravings the patient may have for opioids.

Why use low dose naltrexone for pain?

Naltrexone used at low doses is thought to reduce inflammation and relieve chronic pain. There is no abuse and diversion potential. Even though the mechanism in which how it works to treat pain is unknown, it is thought that by blocking the opioid receptors, your body compensates by producing more endogenous opioids.

Who would benefit from low dose naltrexone use?

Most of the evidence for low dose naltrexone use shows that there may be benefit in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, diabetic neuropathy, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and complex regional pain syndrome. Use may also be useful in those with a history of opioid use disorder, or for those at higher risk of becoming addicted to opioids.

Frequently asked Questions

What are some additional benefits to using naltrexone? A recent study shows that patients who took low dose naltrexone experienced less side effects than those who were on opioids. Participants in the study also reported improvement in mood, sleep, depression, and anxiety.

What are some common side effects? Most side effects come from normal doses of naltrexone for Opioid Abuse Disorder. Those side effects include, syncope, abdominal pain, change in appetite, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.

How should It be taken? The regular dose for naltrexone is 25-50 mg daily. The low dose use of naltrexone for pain is typically 1- 5 mg daily. It can be split up into multiple doses throughout the day. It can be taken with food if nausea is a problem.