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  1. #1
    April is offline Member
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    Default Naltrexone sick after 3 days

    I have a son who was addicted to methadone and could not get off. We agreed to pay for suboxone for 6 months and then the doctor said he would put him on naltrexone for a year. The suboxone lasted a year and 4 months which ended in April this year. We didn't give him the naltrexone every day because I couldn't get him to take it, and my husband kept forgetting. There was a time about 6 weeks ago when he acted like he use to on methadone, his whole body breaks out in acne and he is so hyper it is like he is flying apart. He swore he didn't take any. (i am always the crazy one)
    I let that go but last week it started again and he still swore I was crazy and he wasn't using. We tested him for methadone and he tested positive. My husband made him take a naltrexone pill 50mg. (he hadn't remembered to give it to him for over a week)

    At this time he is still swearing he took nothing and we are crazy and so was the drug test.
    I went to work and my husband went to bed. Later he got a call from the hospital, my son had driven himself to the emergency room because he swore he felt like he was dying and it was not withdraws. He has went through withdraws and swears this was not the same, he thinks he is allergic to naltrexone and now won't take it, he did admitt he took 30 mgs of methadone 3 days before he took the naltrexone but he thinks the reaction was not related to the methadone because it was not withdraws. He said he was in so much pain he does not remember going to the hospital and he even had diahera all over himself and didn't even know it.
    Can a person die from naltrexone? He took it before and there was no reaction so I think it had to be the methadone. He says no way, this was not like withdraws and he will kill himself before he goes through it again. Also he only took 30mgs and it had been 3 days and he is no longer addicted to the methadone, there were no other drugs in his body for over a month so he does not feel he should even have withdraws from having the rest of the methadone taken out of his system.
    My husband is scared to force him to take it, I am being very hard nosed and feel that he has choices to make,
    1)take the naltrexone like he agreed over a year and a half ago and if he uses it won't work because the naltrexone will all ready be in his system and he won't get sick.
    2)If he refuses to take the naltrexone then he needs to move because I won't go through the methadone/suboxone hell with him again. He has not had a job for 3 years because he looks so bad on suboxone or methadone that no one would hire him.
    I thought what would happen is it would get rid of the rest of the methadone in his system and I was determined to make him take the naltrexone everyday so if he used then it would just not get on his receptors and he would not get addicted again.
    He swears if he thinks about that night he starts to have panic attacks and he can still taste the naltrexone, he literally starts crying when he talks about it. this is the first time he has ever mentioned killing himself in all we have went through.

    Can anyone explain who is right? I think if he gets on the naltrexone and takes it everyday then if he used it would not make him sick, it just would not work. Is that right?

    I did not know that if he didn't take it everyday and he was not on drugs but did manage to use like he did he would get that sick. Why did he get so sick when he is no longer addicted? Shouldn't it have just taken the last of the methadone out of his system and he would have been ok since he is not addicted. Don't you only get withdraws from drugs when you are addicted?
    Thank you for any help you can give me! I thought we were finally done with all of this part of his life and it is starting all over, so many years wasted that he can't get back.

    April



  2. #2
    Nat Whilk is offline Member
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    Welcome. You are going to get a lot of help here.

    Here's the thing: your son IS "addicted" even if he isn't actively using. That he takes methadone when he is not supposed to do so... that he won't follow Dr's guidelines is all you need to know.

    I don't know about Naltrexone and Suboxone. So, someone else will have to chime in.

    Sorry to hear of your troubles. How did your son come to use methadone? Was it to get off of heroin? Other pain meds? If heroin, you gotta know you're dealing with an addict regardless of what he's taking or not taking at the moment. The addict-personality is a long-term issue. It won't just go away after a course of medicine (even a year or two's worth) like an infection.

    If this is not a post-heroin situation. What was he taking before? Is any of it related to actual medical use? Is he ever compliant? It sounds like he is not compliant.

    No judgment here. But, you need to understand what you are dealing with. Your son is not being honest with you -- and that is because he is an addict and trying to use drugs (despite your two year effort to "get past this in his life"). HE has to WANT to get past this in HIS life. Sounds like you are the one who is motivated.

    How old is he? Have you considered checking him into an inpatient detox program? How about rehab? Sounds like the naltrexone and suboxone are not getting at the REAL ISSUE here... DRUG ADDICTION.

    Best,
    Nat

  3. #3
    Nat Whilk is offline Member
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    April,

    Just did a little reading. Did you or your husband WATCH your son take the Naltrexone?

    The reason I ask is that I just read some information on it. It contains an opiod ANTAGONIST that will cause great withdrawals if the drug is INJECTED. It is meant to be taken sublingually (under the tongue) and when that happens, the negative effects of the ANTAGONIST part of the drug are negligible.

    The reason they put that in the drug is to DISCOURAGE abuse via injection (which heightens the opiod agonist properties). So, taken properly, it doesn't cause a problem. But, when someone is trying to get high by injecting it, BIG PROBLEMS.

    Did you know that?

    Best,
    Nat

  4. #4
    sheffwed is offline Senior Member
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    Sorry Nat, but I think you're a bit confused here. Naltrexone and suboxone are different things. Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist which blocks heroin and other opiates from working, regardless of whether you took it orally or inject it.

    Suboxone is a mixture of buprenorphine (partial opioid receptor agonist - which can get you high) and naloxone (opioid antagonist - again, another blocker). Suboxone is taken sublingually. When taken this way, hardly any of the suboxone gets into the blood and therefore its effect is minimal. Conversely, a sufficient amount of buprenorphine will get through. However, if suboxone is crushed up and injected, enough naloxone will be in the blood to cause withdrawal.

    Naltrexone can be very dangerous if misused. He has to want to be clean to take this drug orally. 2 dangers: if naltrexone is taken and the person has not undergone full detox, the withdrawal symptoms, if severe enough, can cause death; if naltrexone is NOT taken every day, and the patient uses opiates, he is potentially in a supersensitive state and vulnerable to overdose. If your son WANTS to get clean and stay clean, I suggest the Australian naltrexone implant. I specify this particular implant ONLY because I do not know of any others which sustain therapeutic levels for as long (longer than 5 months).

    I hate to be harsh about this, but you shouldn't trust him - like Nat said, he's an addict. Addiction is a brain disease and should be treated accordingly. Have faith and trust in yourself. Best wishes.

  5. #5
    sheffwed is offline Senior Member
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    Sorry, when I said
    'hardly any of the [u]suboxone</u> gets into the blood and therefore its effect is minimal'

    I meant to say
    'hardly any of the [u]naloxone</u> gets into the blood and therefore its effect is minimal'

  6. #6
    pete62 is offline Senior Member
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    April - Sheff is an expert on the Naltrexone drug. Please read my story on this board. I did UROD and then took Naltrexone for a few weeks. It will block opiates if your son takes it. Bottom line, if he wants to be clean, the naltrexone is a tool to help him. I found it reduced the cravings. I knew I was ready to stop and therefore I did. Good luck. Sheff can correct me if I'm wrong. Also, look up sheffs previous posts.

  7. #7
    sheffwed is offline Senior Member
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    No that's right. Naltrexone reportedly will reduce cravings - that's why it's also used for compulsive gamblers and other drug addictions. Naltrexone will ensure abstinence but needs to be used in conjuction with other therapies including counselling. If you have any queries April, about any of the available treatments, I'm happy to offer whatever advice I can. Best wishes.

  8. #8
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    KATAYA80 is offline Senior Member
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    Just to bring a little light. If you son took methadone 3 days prior, I can almost guarentee that is why he felt like he was dying. I took 1/2 a neltrexon 6 days after my last sub. guess what ...It was still present somewhere in my system I was very uncomfrtable and sick. Unless My doctor is trying to "flush"( a rapid detox)he won't administer neltrexon for two weeks fallowing the last opiate taken.
    The allergy excuse your son has is probably just that an excuse. I wish you and your family all the best.

    "Right now a moment of time is passing us by, we must become that moment."

  9. #9
    relaybane is offline Junior Member
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    there seem to be lots of very learned posters so i have a quick question- im meant to be taking Naltrexone for 12 months. I read elsewhere on this board that people were having a hard time coming off the drug..Why? are there physical/mental withdrawals? this may be tangential to original post, but relevant posts seem idle..thanks for any insight

  10. #10
    sheffwed is offline Senior Member
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    You don't withdraw from naltrexone.
    I would say that people find it hard to come off because of the fear of relapse to opiates.
    They develop a psychological dependence on naltrexone protecting them from relapse. This is why psychosocial treatment is such an important component in recovery.

  11. #11
    relaybane is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks sheff, you put my mind at rest..appreciate the knowledge and help you have given me and many others

  12. #12
    sheffwed is offline Senior Member
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    My pleasure. Best wishes with your recovery.

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