For Alcohol Dependence Why VIVITROL® naltrexone for extended-release injectable suspension

Your doctor can talk about a medication’s pros and cons, availability, and more with you. The medications most commonly used for alcohol withdrawal are benzodiazepines, sedatives that calm anxiety and nervous system excitability by slowing down nerve impulses. Short-term side effects may include drowsiness, dizziness, and dry mouth.

Several peer-reviewed studies demonstrated that supplementation with kudzu can lead to a decrease in alcohol consumption in individuals considered to be heavy alcohol consumers. It is not entirely understood how kudzu works to diminish alcohol cravings. The purpose of these therapies is to arm individuals with the coping skills and resources they need to stay sober. While medications help reduce cravings, therapy and peer support allows patients to learn about why they abuse alcohol in the first place and how to cope in healthy ways. Most people with an alcohol use disorder can benefit from some form of treatment.


In the subset of those who were abstinent for at least 4 days prior to random assignment, extended-release naltrexone also significantly improved continuous abstinence rates (O’Malley et al. 2007). Specifically, 32 percent of those receiving extended-release naltrexone (380 mg) remained abstinent over 6 months compared with 11 percent of those receiving placebo. Individual and group therapy are key components of medication-assisted treatment programs for alcohol addiction. This method of treatment aims to lessen cravings while also promoting long-term recovery from alcoholism.

medications for alcoholism

The information on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health. Treatment providers are available 24/7 to answer your questions about rehab, whether it’s for you or a loved one. Submit your number and receive a free call today from a treatment provider. If you or a loved one is ready to overcome an alcohol addiction, reach out today.

Drug shows promise for treating alcoholism

For more than 20 years, acamprosate was widely used throughout Europe for treating people with alcohol use disorders. It was first marketed in the United States in January 2005 under the brand name Campral. Campral is currently marketed in the United States by Forest Pharmaceuticals. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved three medications for the treatment of alcohol use disorder.

Even the smell of household products, like mouthwash or paint, can trigger the medication. Some people receiving VIVITROL treatment have had a type of pneumonia that is caused by an allergic reaction. If this happens to you, you may need to be treated in the hospital. Call 911 or get emergency medical help right away in all cases of known or suspected opioid overdose, even if naloxone is administered. If you suspect you or someone you know is experiencing this form of withdrawal, seek medical attention immediately. Delirium tremens may prove highly dangerous and even life-threatening if left untreated.

Struggling With Alcohol? Medication May be Able to Help

Naltrexone does not make you feel sick if you drink alcohol while taking it. “It can be 30- to 60-day abstinence rates, fewer heavy-drinking days, cutting back on total number of drinks, or even fewer [alcohol-related] ER visits.” Medication-assisted treatment accounts for a small percentage of ongoing substance abuse treatment in this country. With a vast majority of the substance-using population not reaping the benefits of addiction medications, it is necessary to examine the historical beginnings of addictions treatment to inform adoption recommendations.

  • Most studies of medications for AUD also include counseling, so it is difficult to assess medication effects without counseling.
  • For more than 20 years, acamprosate was widely used throughout Europe for treating people with alcohol use disorders.
  • Symptoms of increased loneliness, anxiety, and depression were linked to digital addiction in a study looking at mechanisms involved in digital addiction…
  • Skilled medical personnel are required to administer extended-release naltrexone with an intramuscular gluteal injection; many specialty programs do not have access to needed medical care providers.

This is especially true given the major scientific advances in pharmacotherapy that have been made over the past 60 years. To improve access to effective medication therapy, research also should explore the use of these medications in a range of health care settings. To optimize medication treatment outcomes, practitioners need to assess both the appropriate level of counseling (from minimal to more intensive) and the appropriate methods to enhance medication adherence for individual patients. The development of medications to address the spectrum of unhealthy alcohol use across the broad range of health care settings has the potential to maximize benefits for future patients.

Medications, Counseling, and Related Conditions

Many of the effects of drinking every day can be reversed through early intervention. However, certain food groups also have benefits when it comes to helping with the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms and detoxification. Three medications have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for AUD.

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