Menu Close

Build a foundation for lasting recovery from addiction

How Does a Naltrexone Injection Work?

Naltrexone injections are used to assist those who suffer from opioid use disorder and even alcohol use disorder. It has become one of the most effective treatments for opioid addiction because it works to decrease the effects that opioids have on the brain. When you are on Naltrexone you can no longer get high on opioid drugs.

What is Naltrexone and How It Work?

It also works by decreasing cravings that you have for opioids and alcohol. A study published by the National Library of Medicine reported that, after a 24-week placebo-controlled experiment, 90% of patients remained sober who received the Naltrexone shot versus only 31% who remained sober from the placebo group.

Naltrexone Injection Help For Opioid Use Disorder?

Naltrexone is an extended-release Vivitrol shot that is given once a month. The average dose for these injections is 380 mg every 4 weeks. This injection is given by intramuscular gluteal injection. The extended-release idea behind this shot is very helpful for those who have trouble staying sober on their own. Knowing you cannot get high for an entire month after the injection can be the difference between staying sober or relapsing.

Benefits of Taking a Naltrexone Injection

After the injection is given, Naltrexone binds to the opiate receptors in the brain and block any other opioids or opiates from being able to bind and cause you to get high. The injection peaks at around 2 hours after it is administered and peaks again approximately 2-3 days later. After 7 days the concentrations will slowly decline but maintain their therapeutic effects over the total 4 weeks. One of the best benefits of taking the injections versus a once-a-day tablet is that there is a decreased concern regarding compliance with taking the pill daily.

Use Opioids After Taking Naltrexone Injection Can Be Dangerous

The Naltrexone injection should not be taken if you have recently used opioids. You must be sober for no less than one to two weeks before getting the shot otherwise you will experience sudden opioid withdrawal symptoms. After getting the shot, attempting to use opioids can also be dangerous and even deadly. At the least, you will get sick and experience withdrawal symptoms. At its worst, it could lead to overdose and death.

Symptoms And Side Effects Of Naltrexone

Naltrexone can produce some uncomfortable side effects when taken and can even cause opioid withdrawal symptoms even if you still have the smallest amount of the drug is still in your system. Withdrawal symptoms can include, fever, stomach pain sweating, body aches, vomiting, muscle twitches, and trouble sleeping. It is also common to feel non-withdrawal side effects from the shot like nausea, headache, muscle pain, loss of appetite, and tiredness. While it is a very helpful tool to have in recovery, it can cause side effects just like any other medication out there.

Get Your Help For Opioid Use Disorder and Alcohol Use Disorder Today!

If you think the Naltrexone shot can be helpful for your opioid or alcohol addiction, you need to take the necessary steps before getting the shot so that it can be the most successful. We recommend you participate in a medical detox before getting the shot so that you can ensure there are no drugs left in your system first. After getting the shot, we recommend this shot is used in conjunction with other forms of addiction treatment like long-term treatment, therapy, and support groups. Addiction is a very hard thing to face, but the Naltrexone injection can be a helpful tool to getting you back on the right path. If you need help getting started on your journey, Evoke Wellness at Cohasset is here to help you overcome your demons and change your life.