Low Dose Naltrexone Side Effects

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Low dose naltrexone is a prescription medication used to treat the symptoms of multiple sclerosis and to block the pleasurable effects of narcotics and alcohol in order to help recovered addicts from returning to substance abuse. Even at low doses, naltrexone causes side effects in some patients.

Significance

While they experience the same types of effects as those using the low dose naltrexone for narcotic addiction, many of the common adverse reactions in patients taking the drug for alcohol addiction alone occurred 3 to 8 percent less frequently.

Types of Common Side Effects

Low dose naltrexone causes a number of common side effects, including insomnia, nervousness, headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and anxiety.

Time Frame

Side effects of low dose naltrexone typically begin within a few days of treatment and gradually subside once your body becomes acclimated to the drug. Those with narcotic addictions notice worse symptoms during the first 48 hours of use.

Risks

Even at low doses, patients who begin taking naltrexone immediately after stopping narcotics risk experiencing heightened withdrawal symptoms. These side effects include tearfulness, bone and joint pain, vomiting, tremors and very severe anxiety.

Considerations

Because there is not yet sufficient evidence that even low doses of naltrexone have no unwanted effects upon the fetus, doctors typically do not prescribe the drug for pregnant or breastfeeding women.

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