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8 Contents of Naltrexone

Author: Thomas Roth

Last Updated: 6/04/2023

Naltrexone is a medication that helps people suffering from addiction to alcohol or opiates. Naltrexone is a medication made up of various other contents (ingredients and compounds). If you’re taking Naltrexone medication it’s important to know what is in that medication. Naltrexone’s primary purpose is to make the effects of opioids and alcohol unpleasant.

The 8 content ingredients in Naltrexone include colloidal anhydrous silica, crospovidone, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose polyethylene glycol 400 polysorbate 80, iron oxide red, iron oxide yellow, and titanium dioxide. For this reading, you will need to know that w/w is a way to measure the concentration of an ingredient. 

Continue reading to find out more information.

1. Colloidal Anhydrous Silica

Colloidal anhydrous silica is typically a nonporous and spherical particle in a liquid phase. It is useful as a lubricant for pills and tablets to make it easier to make their molds. It’s also useful for capsules and leads to a smoother filling of the capsule with the medicinal powder. The recommended concentration of this ingredient is 1% and 5% w/w.

2. Crospovidone

Crospovidone is a common inactive ingredient in many FDA-approved drugs and it’s often mixed with active ingredients to help them become absorbed more quickly in the body. It’s a tablet disintegrant and helps to quickly move the medicine through your body. It is often useful with acetaminophen as well as naltrexone. The recommended concentration levels are 2% to 5% w/w.

3. Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose Lactose Monohydrate

Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose lactose monohydrate functions as a controlled release agent for medications to help delay or time-release certain medications over a long period. It’s also useful with dry eye medicines and also helps with cholesterol levels as well. The recommended concentration levels are again 2% to 5% w/w for this ingredient.

4. Magnesium Stearate

The compound magnesium stearate is useful in the pharmaceutical industry. It dilutes medications for the manufacturing of tablets, powders, and capsule dosage forms. Using this ingredient helps to dilute the medication to help the body with the drug absorption process. The recommended concentration levels are 0.25% to 5% w/w but most commonly it’s used at 0.5% w/w.

5. Microcrystalline Cellulose Polyethylene Glycol 400 Polysorbate 80

Microcrystalline cellulose polyethylene glycol 400 polysorbate 80 is commonly used in most tablet-formed medications in the pharmaceutical industry. It helps the tablets stay hard but dissolve quickly once taken to not delay the absorption of the medicine. This ingredient varies more than others. The recommended concentration levels are 20% to 90% w/w. The higher the concentration, the harder the tablet will be.

6. Iron Oxide Red

Iron Oxide Red is an inorganic compound that is created from iron. This compound is useful for coating pills and tablets as well as coloring different medications as well. The recommended concentration amount is between 500 mg/kg and 1,200 mg/kg. The amount of concentration will determine how much coloring is added to the medicine.

7. Iron Oxide Yellow

Iron Oxide Yellow is a synthetic material that’s useful for cutting pills and tablets as well as coloring. It’s a fine material but Iron oxide red is finer. The concentration for iron oxide yellow is the same as iron oxide red at 500 mg/kg to 1,200 mg/kg. Also, like iron oxide red, the more concentrated the deeper the color and the more coating.

8. Titanium Dioxide

Titanium dioxide is an inorganic compound that’s useful in the food industry and the pharmaceutical industry. In the pharmaceutical industry, it’s useful as a pigment in gelatin capsules, tablet coatings, and syrups. The recommended concentration amount is 5,000 mg per cubic meter. In the food industry, titanium dioxide is useful for coloring certain foods.

What is Naltrexone?

Naltrexone, with brand names Revia and Depade, is a medication that’s useful to help people who suffer from addiction to Opiates and Alcohol. It’s also known as an alcohol or opioid antagonist. Ultimately, it blocks many of the intoxicating effects of alcohol or opiates.

Doctors prescribe naltrexone in many treatment centers around the world. It works by binding to the opioid and alcohol receptors in the body and blocking the release of certain stimulants that are normally released when you take these drugs. The specific receptors that naltrexone bind to include  

The average cost of Naltrexone varies based on if you have insurance or not. If you do have insurance it can be anywhere from $0 to $101 on average. If you don’t have insurance the average price is $101.

What is the Use of Naltrexone? 

Naltrexone is used to help people who suffer from addiction to either opiates or alcohol. When you take opioids or drink alcohol your body releases serotonin and other chemical releases. Naltrexone blocks these releases and stops you from becoming dependent on those drugs. For these reasons, someone who mixes alcohol and naltrexone experiences unpleasant side effects.

What are the Effects of Naltrexone?

While Naltrexone does have many positive effects for those suffering from addiction, it does carry along many side effects as well. Some of the most common side effects include anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, chills, anorexia, headaches, sore throats, and many more. Some of the more long-term side effects are skin rashes, chest pains, confusion, weight gain, shortness of breath, and discomfort while going to the bathroom. 

Most of these side effects go away once your body adjusts to the new medication. If this does not happen it’s important to see medical attention.

How is Naltrexone Used?

The physical way naltrexone is taken is oral. It comes in a pill, a gelatin capsule filled with powder, or a tablet form. Naltrexone is useful once you’re no longer taking opioids or drinking alcohol. This is important because if you still take these drugs it has negative interactions with the medication and has harmful medical results. 

Many treatment centers will also include naltrexone in their regimen to help you with your addiction. Naltrexone is considered non-addictive and you can never become dependent on it. It’s meant to help you quit and then once you have control of your addiction you stop taking naltrexone. It is a very good tool to use when first seeking treatment.

Still, some treatments for alcoholism don’t result in abstinence. Naltrexone is useful for treatment plans like the Sinclair Method that focus on managing someone’s alcohol consumption. With the Sinclair Method, people take naltrexone before drinking alcohol. Doing so makes drinking less desirable and reduces someone’s drinking habits. In fact, the Sinclair Method has a success rate of about 80%.

What is the Timeline of Dosage for Naltrexone?

There are 2 ways that people take Naltrexone. It’s usually in pill, tablet, or capsule form and it’s taken orally. However, it’s also taken as an injectable. If taken orally the dosage is 50 mg one time a day and you do this for 12 weeks. At that point, it will have blocked the receptors for when you drink alcohol and should help allow you to quit your alcohol addiction. 

If taken as an injectable 380 mg is taken intramuscularly once every 4 weeks, or once per month. It’s slightly different if taken for opioids because the previous numbers are for alcohol addiction. 

When taken for opioids, you take 25 mg once per day as your initial dosage. If you have no severe side effects from the opioids and medication interacting you move up to 50 mg once per day. The intramuscular injection is the same at 380 mg once every 4 weeks or once per month.

How long do Naltrexone Side Effects Last?

Generally, the side effects should wear off within 7 to 10 days from starting naltrexone. However, this changes based on several factors. The weight of the person taking the medication can alter this, as well as how much dosage they are starting on. 

While you can start on 50 mg of naltrexone per day on alcohol addiction, many people recommend starting at 25 mg or even 12.5 mg. Then after 3 to 4 days move up to 25 mg and then after 7 to 10 days move up again to 50 mg. This will help your body adjust to the medication and will lessen any side effects you may get in that time frame. 

If you experience side effects after taking naltrexone for more than 10 to 14 days you should call a doctor.

How to Take Naltrexone?

Naltrexone should never be taken without consulting your doctor. Therefore, doctors need to prescribe naltrexone before you take it. There are 2 ways to take the medicine. You can take naltrexone orally or by injection. 

If taken orally it can be in gelatin capsule form filled with the medicinal powder, tablet form, or pill form. For naltrexone injections the composition of Naltrexone is different. Injections are liquid variants of naltrexone.

Do I Need a Prescription When Buying Naltrexone?

Yes, naltrexone requires a prescription when you’re buying it. Doctors prescribe naltrexone to people suffering from alcoholism or opioid addiction. Doctors with licenses to write prescriptions will prescribe naltrexone. Naltrexone is either prescribed for home usage or clinical usage. For home usage, the medication is picked up from a pharmacy. With clinical prescriptions, naltrexone is an injection that takes place at addiction treatment centers. 

Is Naltrexone the Same as Naltrexone HCL?

Yes. The HCL stands for Hydrochloride. The full name of Naltrexone is Naltrexone Hydrochloride but it can be shortened to Naltrexone HCL or, most commonly, just Naltrexone. Either way, it is the same medication and is taken the same way with no differences.