If you’re looking for informative and easy-to-follow naltrexone implant reviews, then you’ve come to the right place, my friend. In this article, I’m going to teach you everything you need to know about using the naltrexone implant for opiate addiction.
I am EXTREMELY PASSIONATE about opiate addiction recovery, and so my goal is to make this the most helpful naltrexone implant review available online. My intention is to serve you well, and I promise to give you a detailed review of the pros and cons associated with using the naltrexone implant for opiate addiction recovery.
I’ll be covering the following topics in this naltrexone implant review:
- Naltrexone implant mechanism of action
- Naltrexone implant FDA approval
- Naltrexone implant cost
- Naltrexone implant statistics
- Naltrexone implant side effects
- How to use the naltrexone implant for opiate addiction
- Naltrexone implant pros and cons
Note: My ultimate goal is to provide you with a good understanding of the pros and cons associated with using the naltrexone implant for opiate addiction recovery, thus enabling you to make an informed decision on whether or not to use this medication. So without further ado, I now present with my review of the naltrexone implant, which starts with a little history…
In 1994, a once-a-day pill named naltrexone was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat alcohol dependence, after the medication was shown to reduce drinking frequency and the likelihood of relapse to heavy drinking
But instead of inducing pain relief, sedation, euphoria, and other opioid effects, naltrexone instead occupies these receptors with no pleasurable feelings. After binding to the mu opioid receptors, naltrexone blocks the effects of opioid drugs, and it may also reduce alcohol’s ability to stimulate these receptors, thus preventing alcohol from inducing pleasure when it’s consumed.
Along Comes Vivitrol
In 2006, the injectable, extended-release naltrexone (under the brand name Vivitrol, formerly known as “Vivitrex”) was approved by the FDA for the treatment of alcohol use disorders. Four years later, on October 12, 2010, the FDA approved Vivitrol to treat and prevent relapse after patients with opioid dependence have undergone detoxification treatment.
That same day in a Press Announcement, Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, stated the following:
Addiction is a serious problem in this country, and can have devastating effects on individuals who are drug-dependent, and on their family members and society. This drug approval represents a significant advancement in addiction treatment.”
In 2012, the Opiate Treatment Program (OTP) I was counseling at became a Vivitrol provider. As part of the outpatient treatment protocol, patients trying to stay clean from either alcohol or opiates were given the option to take a monthly Vivitrol shot in conjunction with addiction counseling.
Note: Due to the high cost of the medication, we never had more than two patients on Vivitrol at any time while I still worked there. However, the patients that I spoke with all told me how much they loved the medication.
Naltrexone Implants – The Newest Naltrexone Formulation
Naltrexone implants are small medication pellets that get inserted under the skin and slowly release naltrexone over varying lengths of time (typically 2 to 6 months). The naltrexone implant has been used in Europe and Australia, and studies have shown very positive outcomes for opiate recovery.
The FDA has not given a specific approval for the administration of naltrexone by having it implanted under the skin of an individual. The naltrexone implant is provided to an individual only after a prescription is written by a medical doctor who has determined that the patient is a good candidate for the naltrexone implant. Only a licensed medical doctor can surgically insert the implant their patient who consents to this treatment option.
The use of the naltrexone implant in the U.S. is still controversial, and finding a doctor in your area who can place the implant may be difficult to impossible. Some patients have traveled far from home to get this form of addiction treatment. Meanwhile, oral and injectable naltrexone are widely available at treatment centers in the US.
Naltrexone Implant Cost
Depending on the country and treatment provider, as well as the dosage of naltrexone, the naltrexone implant cost can widely vary. It could cost anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars to get the naltrexone implant for opiate addiction recovery.
Naltrexone Implant Research Study
In a study from 2009, patients receiving naltrexone had on average 45 days less heroin use and 60 days less opioid use than controls in the 180-day period.
The study concluded that “Naltrexone implant treatment safely and significantly reduces opioid use in a motivated population of patients.”
Naltrexone Implant Side Effects
Many people have stayed clean from using the naltrexone implant for opiate addiction, though at a price. Unfortunately, many of the side effects of the medication can be unpleasant, to say the least.
Common side effects of the naltrexone implant include:
- Decreased appetite
- Painful joints
- Muscle cramps
- Cold symptoms
- Trouble sleeping
Other possible serious side effects include:
- Depressed mood
- Allergic pneumonia
- Serious allergic reactions
Note: Naltrexone can also cause liver damage or hepatitis.
Benefits of Using a Naltrexone Implant vs Oral Naltrexone
Naltrexone is commonly prescribed in oral form and must be taken daily to prevent opioid cravings and block opioid euphoria. However, the effectiveness of the drug is compromised by not sticking to the recommended dosage.
Many patients will either forget to take it daily or stop taking oral naltrexone deliberately so they can get high from opioid drugs. To overcome this problem, doctors have developed the naltrexone implant that can be implanted into the lower abdomen and releases a controlled amount of naltrexone into the body.
In this form, the issues associated with skipping doses are removed and the person can work on overcoming their addiction.
How To Use the Naltrexone Implant For Opiate Addiction
Many individuals that have detoxed from opiates have chosen to get on naltrexone to increase chances of staying clean. If you wanted to get the naltrexone implant, you would first need to be at least 7-14 days clean from the use of opioid drugs. The range of days varies because it takes longer for l0ng-acting opioids to completely leave your body than it does for short-acting opioids.
After your initial naltrexone surgical implant procedure, you would need to return to the treatment provider every so often for various reasons.
These might include:
- To get more medication
- Drug screens
Pros and Cons
After reading naltrexone implant reviews on the internet, it’s helpful to decide for yourself whether or not it feels like a good fit for you. Evaluating the pros and cons becomes important before making this big decision, thus, I’ve created the following breakdown for your convenience.
- Statistics – According to multiple studies, the individuals that used the naltrexone implant had higher percentages of staying clean in treatment vs the placebo groups.
- Monitoring – Regular doctor visits and counseling sessions can help you remain accountable and responsible for recovery.
- Deterrent – Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist drug; It blocks the effects of opioids if they are used while naltrexone is in your system, thus acting as a deterrent.
- Price – Some people cannot afford the price of getting a surgically-implanted naltrexone pellet.
- Side Effects – There is a long list of possible unpleasant symptoms that can arise in the user.
- Body Harm – Naltrexone, the active ingredient in the naltrexone pellet, can cause liver damage or hepatitis.
Naltrexone Implant Review Conclusion
This brings us to the end of the naltrexone implant review. To sum things up, the naltrexone implant is an antagonist medication that is surgically placed in the abdomen so the medication can be slowly released over time, thus reducing the likelihood of opioid cravings and relapse. As with any medication, there are pros and cons associated with its use.
One thing’s for sure: Whether you use the naltrexone implant or not, it’s VERY IMPORTANT to have a strong personalized recovery program, especially during those first difficult months of clean time.
To check out natural methods for staying clean, eliminating cravings, and feeling really awesome after quitting opiates, I encourage you to read my popular article on treating Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome.
If you have any questions about my naltrexone implant review, please feel free to post them in the comment box below. 🙂