Drinking While Taking Naltrexone: What will Happen?

Short Answer: If you accidentally drink alcohol while taking naltrexone, you will not feel drunk, but you will still be impaired and may have side effects.

Naltrexone is a medication that is used to treat alcohol use disorder and opioid use disorder by reducing cravings and feelings of euphoria associated with substance use disorder.

It works by blocking the mu opioid receptor, which is involved in the rewarding effects of alcohol and opioids.

If you accidentally drink alcohol while taking naltrexone, you will not experience the usual intoxication (the “buzz”) from alcohol, but you will still be impaired by its effects on your coordination, reflexes, and judgement.

This can make driving or other activities dangerous.

You may also have increased nausea, stomach cramps, and headaches.

This is because naltrexone contains naltrexone hydrochloride or naltrexone citrate, which are opioid antagonists that bind to the opioid receptors and prevent alcohol from activating them.

Naltrexone hydrochloride or naltrexone citrate can help you reduce your alcohol consumption and stay in treatment, as well as prevent relapse to opioid use if you have a history of opioid dependence.

However, they can also cause liver problems, especially if you use them with other medications that affect the liver, such as ethanol (alcohol).

It is quite uncommon to drink alcohol while taking naltrexone, as most people who use naltrexone are trying to abstain from alcohol or opioids.

However, some people may drink alcohol out of curiosity, habit, or social pressure, or may not be aware of the interaction between naltrexone and alcohol.

You can avoid serious consequences if you drink alcohol while taking naltrexone by limiting your alcohol intake, drinking water or non-alcoholic beverages, and avoiding driving or operating machinery.

You should also inform your doctor and seek medical attention if you have any signs of liver damage, such as yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, or abdominal pain.

To avoid accidental drinking while taking naltrexone, you should store your naltrexone medication in a safe place, away from alcohol or other substances.

You should also inform your family, friends, and health care providers that you are taking naltrexone and that you should not drink alcohol.

You may also benefit from joining a support group or a counseling program that can help you cope with the challenges of recovery.

Finally, remember, naltrexone is a medication that can help you overcome alcohol or opioid addiction, but it is not a cure.

You still need to make changes in your lifestyle, behavior, and environment to achieve long-term recovery.

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