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Naltrexone Hydrochloride Oral tablet

What is this medicine?

NALTREXONE (nal TREX one) helps you to remain free of your dependence on opiate drugs or alcohol. It blocks the 'high' that these substances can give you. This medicine is combined with counseling and support groups.

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a full glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Do not take this medicine within 7 to 10 days of taking any opioid drugs. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue

  • breathing problems

  • changes in vision, hearing

  • confusion

  • dark urine

  • depressed mood

  • diarrhea

  • fast or irregular heart beat

  • hallucination, loss of contact with reality

  • light-colored stools

  • right upper belly pain

  • suicidal thoughts or other mood changes

  • unusually weak or tired

  • vomiting

  • yellowing of the eyes or skin

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • aches, pains

  • change in sex drive or performance

  • feeling anxious

  • headache

  • loss of appetite, nausea

  • runny nose, sinus problems, sneezing

  • stomach pain

  • trouble sleeping

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:

  • any prescription or street opioid drug like codiene, heroin, methadone

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • disulfiram

  • thioridazine

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose and remember on the same day, take the missed dose. If you do not remember until the next day, ask your doctor or health care professional about rescheduling your doses. Do not take double or extra doses.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • if you have used drugs or alcohol within 7 to 10 days

  • kidney disease

  • liver disease, including hepatitis

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to naltrexone, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medicine. Visit your doctor or health care professional regularly. For this medicine to be most effective you should attend any counseling or support groups that your doctor or health care professional recommends. Do not try to overcome the effects of the medicine by taking large amounts of narcotics or by drinking large amounts of alcohol. This can cause severe problems including death. Also, you may be more sensitive to lower doses of narcotics after you stop taking this medicine.

If you are going to have surgery, tell your doctor or health care professional that you are taking this medicine.

Do not treat yourself for coughs, colds, pain, or diarrhea. Ask your doctor or health care professional for advice. Some of the ingredients may interact with this medicine and cause side effects.

Wear a medical ID bracelet or chain, and carry a card that describes your disease and details of your medicine and dosage times.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

Online Medical Reviewer: Louise Akin, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith, RN, MSN, FNP, CCRC
Last Review Date: 10/10/2013
© 2000-2014 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
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