Side effects/interactions of Naltrex : LUSENET : ER Discussions : One Thread

Watching the eppy *the dance we do* and seeing Carter's scene with Mark re:drug screen and Naltrex level test I was reminded that he is on this medication. I have a couple of questions re: this stuff. What kind of side effects or interactions does it have? I know he is on 50mg a day which is supposed to be a high dose. What exactly does it do? I know it's supposed to block the effects of narcs. And the last question is what would happen to Carter if he is on Naltrex and takes morphine or some other form of opiate? Any docs or nurses out there that can answer this?

-- Laura Clemente (, December 10, 2000



Here are some answers to your questions. Maybe a pharmacist can fill in some blanks...

Naltrexone can cause headaches, nausea, diziness, and weightloss. Some people also suffer from sleeplessness. The only know interaction is with Thioridazine which will cause lethargy. Obviously, if taken with other narcotics, you will not feel the effect, however, your body will still be affected. So basically, if Carter is in extreme pain he needs to be given a non-narcotic drug, otherwise his pain receptors will not interpret the meds. Naltrex patients are encouraged to carry a card or Medic-Alert braclet to alert doctors and nurses to pain management issues. There are no know withdrawal syptoms when Naltrex therapy is stopped.

They have begun to use Naltrex to help alcholics as well, seems to have less side effects that Antabuse. It also seems that Naltrex is useful in helping people with self-mutlation issues, especialy when associated with an addiction. These case have reported daily does of 150 mg.

That's all I know. Cathy

-- Cathy (, December 10, 2000.

Clarification... that's "daily doses." Hee hee.

-- Cathy (, December 10, 2000.

Naltrexone can also cause liver damage to some users. A person on Naltrexone should have their livers checked regulary to ensure that there is no damage being done to the liver. In Carter's case , I doubt he will be required to take Naltrexone for too much longer according to what I have read on it. Most addicts that take naltrexone for longer than one year are recovering addicts who had a long term addictiion problem. For example, there are programs where longtime heroin addicts are put on Naltexone and monitored for three years. Carter does not meet that criteria. He had a very short term addiction before getting a help. It takes approx 24-48 hours for Naltrexone to be completly out of a person system. Therefore if Carter needed to have some sort of surgery next week , he would ideally go off Naltrexone two days before the surgery. At that point,the Naltrexone would not effect any medication or drugs given during or after the surgery incliding narcotics if they were deemed necessary by his Doctors.

-- Brenda (, December 10, 2000.

Within a month after starting taking naltrexone (50 mg/day) I experienced serious joint and muscle pains in both my knees, neck, and lower back. Four months later - its getting worse. Seems odd that pain should effect so many areas of my body, and that it should come on to suddenly. Anyone else have joint,muscle pain possible as a side effect of naltrexone?

-- Barbara Carlson (, May 05, 2001.

According to my copy of the British National Formulary, Naltrexone Hydrochloride should only be initiated in specialist clinics, does the ER count? Also, Naltex has implications for liver and kidney function, he should be getting regular tests of his hepatic function. Anyway, if Carter takes an opoid he will get Acute Opoid Toxication! The full list of side-effects is long and dull, however it could make him impotent, somebody should warn Abby!

-- Mark Tehan (, May 17, 2001.

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