What is Naltrexone?
Naltrexone is an FDA approved medication designed to reduce drug or alcohol cravings during the early months of recovery when relapse is a common occurrence. It works by blocking the pleasurable effects substances send the reward center of the brain, decreasing the desire or temptation to use while reducing the risk of relapse.
Naltrexone is available in three forms: tablet, injectable, and via implant device.
Our Naltrexone Implant Treatment
Dr. Kovacs is a leading surgical expert in inserting Naltrexone implants. Our medical team works closely with approved manufacturers to create an implant tailored to each patients’ specific needs.
Each implant is shaped like a small pellet and inserted into the lower abdominal wall or around the umbilicus in a relatively quick pain-free procedure. Once implanted, it releases a consistent dosage of Naltrexone into the body for approximately 3-6 months until the pellet is completely absorbed. Our advanced Naltrexone Implants do not require surgical removal as the body entirely absorbs them. Currently, our Naltrexone Implant Treatment is only available in a clinical setting, and Dr. Kovacs is one of the few licensed for such treatment.
Effectiveness of Naltrexone Implant Treatment:
Naltrexone Implant Treatment has enabled those in early recovery to remain committed to sobriety and maintain steady employment to live fulfilling lives. Since Naltrexone binds and blocks opioid receptors, it reduces the euphoria and sensations experienced from opioids and alcohol. Over time this leads to a reduction in drug and alcohol-seeking behaviors. For best results, we recommend supplementing the implant with ongoing psychotherapy, group therapy, and social support groups.
Potential benefits of Naltrexone include:
- Reduced rate of withdrawals
- Reduced cravings for Opioids and Alcohol
- Increased rate of addiction recovery
- Reduced chances of relapsing
Limitations of Naltrexone
Naltrexone is not without some side effects and risks. These may include:
- Poor appetite
- Muscle or joint pain
- Difficulty sleeping
- Scar formation
Patients are advised to refrain from abdominal exercise until the first post-op check-up. On certain patients, keloid scar formation can develop. It is essential to refrain from taking opioids for a minimum of 7-10 days before Naltrexone treatment to reduce the risk of withdrawal. However, the length of time will vary from one person to another depending on the type of opioid addiction, the dose, and how long the addiction has lasted. Naltrexone causes a reduced tolerance to opioids, and if the patient relapses using the dosage they were once accustomed to, it could have life-threatening consequences.