In this article, I’m going to provide you with a list of the Top 10 Most Effective Opiate Withdrawal Medications. I’ve been researching and blogging about opiate withdrawal remedies for almost three and a half years now, and as a result, I’ve learned some really cool stuff!
As of today, I’ve found more than 60 opiate withdrawal remedies, which fall into the categories of prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, natural drugs, supplements, nootropics, natural remedies, and home remedies for opiate withdrawal.
The focus of this piece is to inform you about the Top 10 Medications for Opiate Withdrawal that I’ve found to be the most beneficial.
Table of Contents
Opiate Withdrawal Medications
Some are prescription medications that you can only procure by seeing a doctor or psychiatrist, and some are over-the-counter medications that you can obtain without a prescription.
I’ll provide a brief overview on each opiate withdrawal medication’s mechanism of action and benefits, and if you want to learn more detailed information (such as recommended dosages) you can click on the links provided to read entire articles dedicated to the medications you’re interested in.
Now that you’re aware of the framework of this article, let’s dive right in and start learning about the Top 10 Opiate Withdrawal Medications THAT WORK.
Methadone binds to the same opioid receptors in the brain and other parts of the body that drugs like heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, and other opioids bind to. Once methadone binds to these receptors, the opioid effects come on.
Common effects of methadone are the same as other opioids:
- Pain Relief
- CNS Depression
- Constricted Pupils
After an individual takes a dose of methadone, the drug quickly binds to the opioid receptors, and if enough is taken, withdrawal symptoms and opiate cravings are completely eliminated.
Many people that want to get off opiates without withdrawal enroll in methadone treatment facilities, which are outpatient programs that are commonly referred to as “methadone clinics.” Click here to learn more about this popular medication for opiate withdrawal.
Approved by the FDA in 2002, buprenorphine has since become one of the favorite opiate withdrawal medications among individuals that are addicted to opiates. Buprenorphine, sold under the mono-drug brand name Subutex, and under the combination-drug buprenorphine/naloxone (brand names Suboxone or Zubsolv), works in the same way that methadone does, only not as strongly.
Buprenorphine, like methadone, attaches and binds to the same opioid receptors in the brain and other parts of the body that drugs like heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, and other opioids bind to. Once it attaches to these receptors, it mimics the effects that opioid drugs produce (though it’s not as powerful).
For this reason, buprenorphine is referred to as a “partial opioid agonist.”
The other opiate drugs I just mentioned are known as “full opioid agonists,” because they activate the receptors in a stronger and more complete way than buprenorphine. See the illustration below.
Buprenorphine is one of the most widely-prescribed opiate withdrawal medications, and many people decide to continue taking buprenorphine as a long-term Opiate Replacement Medication to prevent cravings and opiate-relapse.
Click here to learn more about this effective medication for opiate withdrawal.
If you’re looking for the best opiate withdrawal medications you can get your hands on, look no further. Gabapentin, sold under the brand names Neurontin among others, is a prescription medication that can ultimately prevent you from experiencing opiate withdrawal symptoms, so long as you take the right dosage.
Gabapentin is commonly prescribed in the treatment of:
- Neuropathic Pain
- Hot Flashes
- Restless Leg Syndrome
Gabapentin was designed by chemists at Parke-Davis to be an analog of the neurotransmitter GABA that could more easily cross the blood-brain barrier, thus making the effects in the brain very significant.
GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that acts as a mental relaxant. I often to refer to GABA as the “brain’s natural Valium.”
It is also commonly prescribed for many off-label uses, such as the treatment of:
- Anxiety Disorders
- Bipolar Disorder
Gabapentin has been shown to be a very effective opiate withdrawal medication in numerous studies. Click here to learn more about this powerful medication for opiate withdrawal.
Another one of the top opiate withdrawal medications, pregabalin has the ability to mitigate the severity of your withdrawal symptoms in a major way. Pregabalin, marketed under the brand name Lyrica among others, is a prescription medication that is very similar to gabapentin.
Pregabalin is used to treat:
- Neuropathic Pain
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Like gabapentin, pregabalin is a GABAergic anticonvulsant and depressant of the central nervous system (CNS). This means that it significantly relaxes the body and mind.
Pregabalin is classified as a GABA analogue and gabapentinoid. It is a close analogue of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA.
Some off-label uses of pregabalin include:
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Prevention of Migraines
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Alcohol Withdrawal
Pregabalin has been shown in a research study to significantly ameliorate opiate withdrawal symptoms, making it one of the most highly-effective and beneficial opiate withdrawal medications in the world. Click here to learn more about this top medication for opiate withdrawal.
Loperamide is one of my favorite over-the-counter medications for opiate withdrawal. Loperamide, sold under the brand name Imodium among others, is used to decrease the frequency of diarrhea. Loperamide is an opioid-receptor agonist and acts on the mu-opioid receptors in the myenteric plexus of the large intestine.
Loperamide works like morphine, decreasing the activity of the myenteric plexus, which decreases the tone of the longitudinal and circular smooth muscles of the intestinal wall, thus creating a constipating effect.
Loperamide is often used in the treatment of:
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Short Bowel Syndrome
At low dosages, loperamide is able to stop the diarrhea and stomach pain/cramping that results from the abrupt cessation of opiates.
At moderate to high dosages, this opiate withdrawal medication is actually able to significantly reduce all withdrawal symptoms, not just gastrointestinal (GI) distress. Click here to learn more about this amazing opiate withdrawal medication.
This is another one of the most-commonly-prescribed opiate withdrawal medications. Clonidine, sold under the trade name Catapres and others, is a blood pressure (hypertension) medication that belongs to a class of drugs known as central alpha agonists.
Clonidine is also classified as a sympatholytic drug, which is a medication that inhibits the postganglionic functioning of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). The SNS is part of the nervous system that is responsible for the fight or flight response.
Sympatholytic drugs are commonly used as antihypertensives and for the following disorders:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Panic Disorder
Clonidine is one of the most-commonly-prescribed opiate withdrawal medications for a reason…it works!
Clonidine is by no means a “magic bullet,” because it doesn’t eliminate all of your opiate withdrawal symptoms.
However, when used correctly clonidine can ease the following opiate withdrawal symptoms:
- Reduces anxiety
- Helps you fall and stay asleep
- Slows down a racing heartbeat which helps to calm you down
- Prevents Restless Leg Syndrome
- Gets rid of the chills and goosebumps
Multiple studies have shown clonidine to significantly reduce the severity of opiate withdrawal symptoms. Click here to learn more about this highly-beneficial medication for opiate withdrawal symptoms relief.
Widely regarded as some of the most effective medications for opiate withdrawal, benzodiazepines, commonly referred to as “benzos,” are a class of psychoactive drugs whose core chemical structure is the fusion of a benzene ring and a diazepine ring.
Benzodiazepines enhance the effect of the neurotransmitter GABA at the GABA-A receptor, resulting in effects that can be very helpful in relieving opiate withdrawal symptoms.
Benzodiazepines have the following properties:
- Anxiolytic (Anti-Anxiety)
- Muscle Relaxant
- Hypnotic (Sleep-Inducing)
The use of benzodiazepines as highly-effective opiate withdrawal medications has been reported in numerous studies, as well as in anecdotal evidence, especially from individuals that have used the Thomas Recipe for opiate withdrawal.
To learn more about these amazing medications for opiate withdrawal, click on the following links for a complete article on how to use specific benzodiazepine drugs, including Klonopin, Ativan, Librium, Valium, and Xanax.
Here’s a very interesting opiate withdrawal medication that many people are not aware of, including most doctors. Dextromethorphan (DXM) is an antitussive (cough suppressant) drug found in over 125 over-the-counter cough and cold medications, including Robitussin, Coricidin, and Vicks.
So, how does DXM weigh in on the list of the top medications for opiate withdrawal?
It works very well.
One of the ways DXM helps to reduce opiate withdrawal symptoms is by increasing certain neurotransmitters in the brain.
DXM increases levels of the following neurotransmitters which can be helpful for opiate withdrawal relief:
But even more important than its ability to enhance neurotransmission is DXM’s activity at the NMDA receptors.
A review study from 2004 done in Germany concludes that three main mechanisms are responsible for opioid tolerance and the withdrawal syndrome dependence, which are upregulation of adenyl cyclase and nitric oxide synthetase and activation of NMDA receptors. Consequently, the use of alpha-2 agonists (e.g., clonidine) and NMDA antagonists (e.g., dextromethorphan, ketamine) can minimize the tolerance phenomenon and decrease the withdrawal symptoms.
Simply put, DXM is one of the most effective over-the-counter medications for opiate withdrawal because it’s an NMDA antagonist and because it increases your serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain.
Multiple studies have shown DXM to be an effective opiate withdrawal medication that is capable of mitigating symptoms in a major way. Click here to learn more about this inexpensive, over-the-counter medication for opiate withdrawal.
Here is another one of the lesser-known prescription medications for opiate withdrawal, which is very effective at reducing withdrawal symptoms. Baclofen, sold under the brand name Lioresal among others, is a centrally-acting skeletal muscle relaxant that was approved by the FDA in 1977 for its ability to reduce muscle spasms, muscle tightness, and pain.
It’s typically prescribed for spastic movement disorders, most commonly in instances of:
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Cerebral Palsy
As an off-label use, many people have now benefited from using baclofen as an effective medication for opiate withdrawal.
More and more people are using baclofen as an opiate withdrawal medication because its chemical makeup closely resembles the neurotransmitter GABA.
Baclofen is similar to benzodiazepines in this regard, however, baclofen binds to a different subtype of GABA receptors, which leads to similar, though distinctly different effects. While benzos bind to the GABA-A receptors, baclofen binds to the GABA-B receptors.
Other drugs that bind to GABA-B receptors are:
In research studies, baclofen has proven to be worthy as one of the most effective medications for opiate withdrawal symptoms relief. Click here to learn more about this awesome opiate withdrawal medication.
Finally, we get to the last of the Top 10 Medications For Opiate Withdrawal. Tramadol, sold under the brand name Ultram among others, is a prescription opioid medication used to treat mild to severe pain. Many individuals have reduced the severity of their opiate withdrawal symptoms by using tramadol.
Tramadol has a few mechanisms of action which enable it to be an effective medication for opiate withdrawal symptoms relief.
Tramadol has the following properties:
- Opioid Agonist
- Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor (SNRI)
Since tramadol binds to the mu- opioid receptors in the body, this allows it to stop opiate withdrawal symptoms right in their tracks.
Furthermore, the SNRI antidepressant quality can also help to reduce opiate withdrawal symptoms. SNRI’s have been shown to be effective for treating anxiety, depression, panic disorders, and some other mood disorders. Some popular SNRI’s include Effexor, Pristiq, and Cymbalta.
Tramadol has been shown in numerous studies to be a highly effective medication for opiate withdrawal symptoms relief. Click here to learn more about this popular opiate withdrawal medication.
Medications For Opiate Withdrawal – Final Thoughts
If you’re feeling overwhelmed from reading all this information, I don’t blame you. We’ve just covered a lot of opiate withdrawal medications and went deep into pharmacology and brain chemistry concepts.
If you’re anything like me, you learn especially well by watching informative video tutorials.
Does that sound like you?
If it does, check this out now…
If you’re interested in learning more about opiate withdrawal medications, as well as other withdrawal remedies such as natural drugs, dietary supplements, nootropics, natural remedies, and home remedies, then I encourage you to check out the Ultimate Opiate Recovery System.
In it, you’ll find a 2-hour webinar where I explain in detail how to use over 50 of the top opiate withdrawal remedies in the world.
You’ll also learn exact dosages of medications and other remedies that will be the most beneficial for easing opiate withdrawal symptoms from the comfort of your own home.
Opiate Withdrawal Medication Comments?
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