FDA Approval of Naltrexone
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the use of naltrexone in the treatment of:
- Alcohol dependence, approved in 1984
- Opioid dependence, approved in 1994
Many people may struggle with both opioid and alcohol abuse. This is a dangerous combination that should be actively managed. The good news is that naltrexone can be used to treat both opioid and alcohol dependence.
Naltrexone for Alcohol Addiction
Even though naltrexone works on the brain’s opioid receptors, it is effective in the treatment of alcohol abuse. This is because alcohol also acts on the internal opioid and endorphin system.
A meta-analysis study showed that naltrexone was successful in reducing both the quantity of alcohol consumption and the degree of perceived craving.
Naltrexone for Opioid Addiction
Naltrexone acts to bind opioid receptors without activating them. In clogging up the receptors, naltrexone prevents the action of opioids and thus the high associated with their use.
Naltrexone works to ease the immediate physiological changes, such as euphoria and decreased breathing, as well as the delayed disturbances of cravings and the urge to use opioids. In doing so, naltrexone works to treat opioid dependence in preventing the desire to use the drugs.